Salmon has become people’s favourite fish. There are several reasons for this. Because there are not enough free-living fish, one has gone over to breeding fish. It all started in Norway. There are ideal conditions for fish farming in the fjords. Salmon is particularly suitable for breeding. Fish is very digestible, contains Omega3 fatty acids and is considered very healthy. The and clever marketing of the producers brought more and more salmon on our plates.
Just like in the picture on the left, salmon probably would like it best. With enough space and clean water.
There’s always a crowd in salmon farming
But the reality in salmon farming is different. No matter whether the salmon are bred in the sea or in a tank on land, there is always a crowd. As you can see in the picture.
The advantage of this crowd, the salmon are much easier to handle. During feeding or when the salmon are caught. You don’t need huge plants, everything is compact together.
The disadvantage of this crowd, diseases or parasites like the salmon louse can spread much faster from animal to animal. Very often all animals in one tank or enclosure are affected in a short time.
Salmon louse is a big problem
Yeah, salmon have lice. The salmon louse is a parasite with the Latin name lepeophtheirus salmonis. Salmon louse is not a new phenomenon, it was discovered almost 200 years ago. The difference to earlier times is the salmon lived in the sea and had a lot of space. Today, it lives together with thousands of other fish crowded into an aquaculture. Lice eggs can spread very quickly in such an environment and find new host fish. The louse docks to the fish skin and lives from the skin of the fish or its blood.
This is particularly dangerous and life-threatening for younger salmon.
Salmon lice impressed by Merus rings
Norwegian Nofima, one of the largest research institutes for fisheries and aquaculture, has carried out a study with Merus rings. The influence of Merus treated water on the development of young salmon and their greatest threat, the salmon aphid, were investigated. Young salmon are raised in tanks.
Merus rings have been installed at the water supply of the fish tank and salmon are observed to develop in comparison to salmon in untreated water.
The result was very surprising for all involved. The salmon that benefited from Merus water had almost twice the survival rate compared to the salmon in the untreated fish tank. This means that the salmon with the treated water has much less infestation by lice.
An official study was not published. We don’t know the reason for this.