Hydrogen peroxide supplier on delousing: “We will create resistance”

Ole Alexander Saue

“If we treat a fjord with the same method many times, we will create resistance in lice,” said Chemco.

However, hydrogen peroxide supplier Chemco believes that the lice’s sensitivity for chemicals are on its way back.

Mechanical treatment has become the preferred alternative to the treatment of salmon lice however Chemco biologist Jan Rune Nordhagen feels one has to be careful with the industry’s overuse of chemicals in delousing.

“I think it’s dangerous that the industry is falling into the same trap as before, which they have a tendency to do. The lice will eventually become resistant against the methods,” he says.

“We have to swap the use of delousing methods. That’s clear. It’s stupid to start with one treatment if one knows it’s not effective”, he continues.
“You need to use all the methods you have,” says Chemco general manager, Eivind Solheimsnes.
Hydrogen peroxide has had a bad reputation for a number of years, and various studies have researched how it affects the environment as well as fish health. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Veterinary Institute have said that the use of chemicals should decrease.
“The reputation is unfair. I have tested the spread after several H2O2 treatments. Even at one meter from the plant, the peroxide concentrations are very low,” biologist Nordhagen claims.
General manager, in Chemco, Eivind Solheimsnes PHOTO: Ole Alexander Saue

Time will show how much hydrogen peroxide they will sell this autumn.

“I do not know for sure. The ones who used hydrogen peroxide in winter had surprisingly good effect. Where the lice had reduced sensitivity before, the effect returns,” Solheimsnes said.

Mechanical delousing
Chemco understands that the decrease in the use of chemicals has a lot to do with mechanical treatment.

“Should one be good at mechanical delousing, one must do it many times. One must develop the method, and then improve it through use. That’s what we did with hydrogen peroxide, too. One must solve the problems that may arise. When we started with mechanical delousing, the methods were immature.

“People may think it’s still immature?”

“Yes, one might say so. I do not have any detailed knowledge of mechanical delousing, but it certainly can be getter”, he claims.


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