Cermaq reports big sea lice rise in British Colombia

The company faced certain challenges from the bloodsuckers this Q2.

In past quarter sea lice levels at a few fish farms in the Clayoquot Sound region, B.C, Colombia have been higher than usual compared with the same quarter last year, leading to a higher average lice count, the company said in a press release.

The company said that the use of sea lice treatment in feed in Canada increased to 0.3 grams of active ingredient in feed per ton of live weight equivalent harvested. They also confirmed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide was used.

Explaining the high levels of lice, Lise Bergan Corporate Affairs Director for Cermaq told SalmonBusiness,:

“Canada differs from other regions as the number of farmed salmon is small compared to the wild stocks and we have also experienced very unusual weather patterns in the past two years which has influenced the prevalence of lice in the surrounding environment. In Canada we have not had many treatment options to choose from and this has affected how rapidly we could respond to these conditions. To manage this situation we harvested sites early and we also treated with hydrogen peroxide which has worked well.”

Mitsubishi-owned Cermaq posted that sea lice counts dropped by over 40% compared with the same period last year. They said that this was “partly due to increase in sea lice treatment.” The antibiotics use by closed cycle for harvested fish decreased.

In Norway sea lice counts were at 0.03 adult female lice per fish, below the regulatory limit of 0.5 average adult female lice per fish.

Longer-term, Cermaq said that it was committed to making a $12 million lice management barge that will be ready early next year.


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