Why sea lice prevention is better than cure

The Fish Site

In a new article, Prevention not cure: a review of methods to avoid sea lice infestations in salmon aquaculture, researchers from the University of Melbourne, Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and Nofima argue that effectively preventing infestations before they occur causes less stress for the salmon and fewer production losses, as farmers avoid the need for delousing treatments.

Currently, farmers have options to manage lice by preventing infestations, continuously controlling infestations to keep lice at low levels, or waiting until infestations reach “trigger” levels and then carrying out immediate delousing.

“Many delousing methods subject the salmon and the lice to the same unpleasant experience – they work because the salmon usually survive the experience and the sea lice do not. Preventative methods avoid this situation by targeting lice before they attach to the host, or by helping salmon fight off lice larvae at the moment of attachment,” said lead author, Dr Luke Barrett, from the University of Melbourne.

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