Full effect with zero chemicals
Sea lice are currently the biggest challenge for fish farmers in most salmon producing areas. We at Steinsvik intend to be a part of the solution. We have since 2007 been developing a chemical and drug free treatment system. The Thermolicer is now commercially available and has already been put to use by a number of our customers.
The lice have a low level of tolerance for sudden changes in temperature. This fact is exploited by the Thermolicer where the fish are bathed briefly in lukewarm water. The lice die and fall off the fish, after which they are collected and destroyed.
The Thermolicer is a machine for commercial scale dip or bath treatment of fish. A sudden rise in water temperature is a well-known method of killing lice. We have developed a machine that does this on a commercial scale.
The fish are crowded and pumped into the machine where it passes through the processing loop in 25–30 seconds. Treatment water holds 30–34 degrees depending on ambient sea temperature. The treatment water is filtered, aerated, oxygenated and reused in the system. This simple and environmentally friendly treatment has an effect that goes beyond the expected in traditional treatment agents like chemicals and medicines.
1. Fish enters Thermolicer after pumping.
2. Water separation.
3. Sea water is filtered and released.
4. The fish is exposed to lukewarm water.
5. Treatment loop.
6. Water surface.
7. Water separator for treatment water.
8. Fish exits the system.
9. Heated water is circulated to water tank for filtration, aeration and reheating.
10. Treatment water is pumped back to the treatment loop.
NB. The water treatment system is not shown.
The Thermolicer is fitted on a boat or a barge and each machine can treat up to 80 tons per hour, depending on crowding and local conditions. The fish are crowded and pumped through the Thermolicer and then back in the same cage or to an empty cage. Together with the Thermolicer you get training and recommendations to ensure that you can treat your fish whenever needed, and not be dependent on a third party to perform any tasks.
Third party documentation
Together with The Norwegian Seafood Research Fund – FHF, we initiated a project to ensure third party verification of effect and animal welfare. The Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) was given the task of executing the project. The project resulted in the best-documented lice treatment method ever, and the Veterinary Institute's finding was uplifting for the salmon industry as a whole. The project included extensive lice-counting and welfare registrations before, during and weekly follow-ups 4 weeks after treatment. The report says that “Thermal delicing is a new method without chemicals which can be used as an alternative to pharmaceuticals, and should be used together with other measures as an overall strategy against lice”. For more info; see The Norwegian Veterinary Institute.
We have been fortunate to get the Thermolicer and begin using it in time. Without it we would probably have struggled to keep lice figures down in late June and July. We see great results, there are very few lice, and we are well below the action limit. The Thermolicer is a very useful tool. It's also important to emphasize that we can now treat the fish without using drug treatments. This is gentler for both the fish and the environment, and is very important for Bolaks (07.08.2015, kyst.no).Tom Olsen
Project Coordinator, Bolaks