Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Water Research (NIVA) have recently been granted a Norwegian and Chilean patent for a new dosing system, which they believe could transform the way sea lice on salmon and other marine species are treated.
Contrary to current methods where fish are administered medicines through fish feed or by bath treatment, Niva researchers believe that it is possible to maintain a therapeutic dose in the fish cage over a longer period, that is well below the level expected to impact the eco-system or environment.
A patent for the technology in Europe and North America is just around the corner.
Salmon lice, the scourge of the aquaculture industry, have traditionally been treated with pharmaceutical products, which can have negative effects on the ecosystem and on other species such as shrimp and lobster.
The scientists are now looking for industry partners to move the technology, called "Fishtreat", onto a commercial footing so that it can be used not only for the salmon industry, but for other species where producers need to control parasites or disease.