Norwegian salmon farmer Nordlaks has announced it is rolling out lice-zapping laser technology across 20-30% of its farming sites.
The company has been testing lice lasers developed by aquaculture technology company Stingray at two strategic locations: Havfarmen outside Hadseløya and Litjevika in Dyrøy municipality.
The lasers, after being lowered into the cages, direct beams to kill salmon lice without causing harm to the fish. The approach allows the salmon to remain in their natural environment, minimizing stress, the company said.
Nordlaks has described the outcome of the trial at both locations as "sensational".
"At Havfarmen, which is our largest facility, we have managed without delousing this year," said Bjarne Johansen, manager of Nordlaks Havbruk.
"We released fish this summer and this year there have been extra salmon lice due to the hot summer. Nevertheless, we have managed to keep the lice numbers in check."
Similarly, Nordlaks' farm at Litjevika witnessed a significant reduction in the need for delousing following the installation of lice lasers.
Encouraged by the success, Nordlaks has committed to expanding its use of the technology, investing in an additional 50 lice lasers from Stingray, to be deployed across five or six new facilities.
The move follows the deployment of twelve lasers in 2022 and twenty in 2023, and means Stingray lice lasers will be integrated into 20-30% of Nordlaks' overall production, the company said. The new lasers are due to be delivered during March-April 2024.
"Nordlaks must be among the best in its class when it comes to fish health and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. Because we believe in lasers as part of a holistic, effective fight against salmon lice, we are constantly increasing the number of lasers," Johansen said.
Nordlaks is the latest salmon farmer to adopt the technology. In October 2023, Cermaq announced it was rolling out the lasers at some of its farming sites.