The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR) recently proved the amoeba that leads to amoebic gill disease (AGD) in salmon, also is found on wrasse, a fish used to target sea lice on salmon farms. While the fish has been hailed as an eco-friendly way to control sea lice, IMR is now researching whether the fish might be a vector for the spread of AGD.

“It was recently established that the same amoeba that is on salmon, is also on wrasse. We want to find out if wrasse could be vectors with regard to the spread of AGD,” Geir Lasse Taranger told IntraFish.

He is the editor of the report, “Risk Assessment Norwegian Fish Farming," recently published by IMR.

This year is a continuation of charting the development of wrasse as sea lice treatment. Previously it established there is genetic division in the species Corkwing wrasse, where the dividing line occurs in southern Norway.

This means cleaner fish differ genetically from southern Norway and eastwards.

“It’ll be very interesting to see if there are differences between wrasse in southern Norway and western Norway with regards to AGD," Taranger said. "We will be investigating this this year. If this turns out it could be a vector in relation to the spread of AGD, further investigation will be needed."