Acoustic Delicing of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar): Fish Welfare and Salmon Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) Dynamics
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2022, 10 (8), 1004. 10.3390/jmse10081004
Acoustic lice treatment (AcuLice) is a newly developed system, which uses a composite acoustic sound image with low-frequency sound to remove salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). This field study documents the stress effects on Atlantic salmon and the effect on salmon lice dynamics during large-scale use of the AcuLice system. The effect of the AcuLice treatment on salmon lice dynamics was measured by weekly salmon lice counting at the facilities from mid-summer 2019 to late-spring 2020. The number of salmon lice treatments in the same period was also compared to a reference group. In addition, the number of weeks until the first salmon lice treatment (mechanical treatment) was compared between the two groups. Apart from a slight increase in plasma glucose, no significant differences were observed in the primary, secondary, or tertiary stress responses measured. For the mature female salmon lice, a significantly lower number (mean ± SEM) was shown for the AcuLice group (0.24 ± 0.03) compared to the reference group (0.44 ± 0.04). In addition, a lower number (mean ± SEM) of salmon lice treatments and a longer production period before the first salmon lice treatment occurred was observed at the AcuLice facilities (33.2 ± 3 weeks) compared to the reference facilities (20.3 ± 2 weeks). These data suggest that the use of the AcuLice system reduces the need for traditional salmon lice treatments with no added stress to the fish.