Industry invests $3 million to combat barbed wire jellyfish threat after millions of salmon killed

Editorial Staff

Barbed wire jellyfish have caused significant damage and mass deaths in fish farms across Norway, over the last two years.

The Norwegian aquaculture industry has allocated NOK 35 million ($3.33 million) to the Jellysafe project, aimed at combating the harmful impacts of the jellyfish species Apolemia uvaria, commonly known as barbed-wire jellyfish.

The Jellysafe project, funded by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Research Financing (FHF), brings together top experts from several institutions, including the Institute of Marine Research, SINTEF Ocean, Akvaplan Niva, NIVA, Patogen, NCE Aquaculture, the University of Bergen, and Åkerblå. The Institute of Marine Research will lead the initiative, which aims to develop comprehensive strategies to mitigate the jellyfish threat.

Read more: Producer forced to cull 900,000 following barbed-wire jellyfish attacks

Research efforts will focus on understanding the biology and venom mechanisms of Apolemia uvaria, establishing monitoring and warning systems for jellyfish blooms, and developing equipment and measures to protect fish when jellyfish are present in the water.

“NCE Aquaculture’s Innovation Leader Ann Cecilie Hilling emphasized the importance of continuous dialogue with industry stakeholders who have firsthand experience with jellyfish. The project has formed a dialogue group that includes companies such as Nordlaks, Cermaq, Bremnes Seashore, SalMar, Grieg, and Lerøy.

“Jellyfish have been an increasing problem in recent years, causing significant mortality at certain locations. It’s very positive that FHF is prioritizing research funding to address these challenges. Understanding the jellyfish’s biology is crucial for implementing preventive measures,” said Remi Mathisen from Nordlaks.

The Jellysafe project, which will run until the end of 2026, aims to compile best practices that the entire aquaculture industry can use to combat jellyfish attacks effectively.


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