Journal article

Acclimatisation with lice-infested salmon improves cleaner fish lice consumption

Katharine Gentry, Samantha Bui, Frode Oppedal, Reidun Bjelland, Velimir Nola, Tim Dempster



Securing the welfare and maximising the lice removal efficacy of ~60 million cleaner fish used each year on salmonid farms is essential to develop a productive and ethical industry with low salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis levels. We tested whether ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta welfare and lice consumption differed depending upon whether they were acclimatised in cages with either no Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, salmon without lice, or lice-infested salmon, prior to deployment in sea cages. After 1 wk, commercial densities of lice-infested salmon were stocked with the acclimatised wrasse in cages and kept for a further 3 wk. Each week, the number of lice on salmon was counted and a subset..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank staff at IMR's Austevoll fish farm for technical support during field sampling, including Bjorn-Magne Hufthammar, Jan Erik Fosseidengen, Anne Berit Skiftesvik, Tina Oldham, Chris Oldham, Ida Berge Waage, Florian Freytet, Rosa Escobar, and Andreas Habbestad Andersen. Funding was provided by the Institute of Marine Research and the University of Melbourne.