Under the right conditions, this represents an effective form of biological delousing that can prevent chemicals entering the environment and saves a lot of money for the farmer.
Lice can be controlled with a combination of different measures, without the use of chemicals. This can be by using cleaner fish, mechanical removal, breeding, vaccines and feed.
Have been shown to be effective in many places. Both wild-caught and farmed cleaner fish are used extensively today. There is apparently a correlation between the robustness of the cleaner fish and its effectiveness in terms of feeding on lice.
Farmed fish can also be deloused using measures such as flushing, brushing, warm water, freshwater and lasers. The measures are based on newly developed technology which is driven by an innovative industry.
Research is being carried out on QTL spawn, which can improve the fishes' resistance to salmon lice. QTL spawn
exists today with extra resistance to the IPN virus and PD.
Research is being carried out into vaccines that can provide immunity to salmon lice. This is probably a long way in the future.
Strengthening of the fishes' outer barriers by using feed with functional ingredients affects the composition and thickness of the mucus layer on the skin. The mucus layer can increase the fishes' general ability to resist and can reduce louse infestation by not allowing the salmon lice to attach themselves to the salmon. A thicker layer of mucus will also stand up better to mechanical damage.
Cleaner fish represent an effective biological method for the removal of lice. This means that delousing can potentially be carried out without the use of medications. It is not expected that resistance problems towards cleaner fish will develop, which would be the primary limiting factor for delousing with cleaner fish. In addition, the costs of using cleaner fish are much lower than for other methods. The cleaner fish itself can also be a valuable source of protein for the future.