Lerang laboratory focusing on sea lice defences
Since 2011, a state-of-the-art laboratory at our research station in Lerang, Norway, has been dedicated to developing management techniques to deal with sea lice infestations.
“It is Skretting’s long-held belief that functional nutrition strengthens the immune system so fish can better cope and recover faster from disease and environmental challenges. Functional feeds are a key component to success-ful integrated pest management (IPM) strategy,” explains Julia Mullins, the laboratory’s lead co-ordinator.
At the laboratory, experimental conditions including light, water temperature, feed intake and infection challenge are rigorously controlled, thereby providing the most dynamic platform to conduct extensive evaluations of many natural, functional feed ingredients against sea lice. This work led to the development of Shield, a complete feed that decreases the level of sea lice attachment and also supports fish defences.
“Last year, we launched Shield. In 2017, we are working further on optimising the lice challenge model. It is a continual process. Sea lice are a naturally occurring problem; they are not going to go away, so we have to keep working on it,” says Mullins.