Cooke gets $3.2m to bat­tle sea lice

Fish Farmer - - World News -

COOKE Aqua­cul­ture of Canada is to re­ceive around $3.2 mil­lion in fed­eral fund­ing to­wards de­vel­op­ing a promis­ing new process to bat­tle sea lice in farmed salmon.

The fam­ily owned New Brunswick com­pany is work­ing on a project that uses warm water to re­move the par­a­site. The process is thought to have a very high re­moval rate of around 95 per cent.

The project is cost­ing some $5 mil­lion in to­tal. The At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency (ACOA) is pro­vid­ing $3 mil­lion, with a fur­ther $247,000 com­ing from the Aqua­cul­ture Col­lab­o­ra­tive Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme. Cooke Aqua­cul­ture is con­tribut­ing close to $1.9 mil­lion.

Cooke es­ti­mates in­dus­try costs due to sea lice in­fes­ta­tion in New Brunswick and New­found­land and Labrador alone have been run­ning at $15 mil­lion a year for the past five years.

It says that, if suc­cess­ful, this project will have a di­rect im­pact on re­duc­ing sea lice re­lated losses for the com­pany and pro­vide a green al­ter­na­tive to man­ag­ing sea lice out- breaks, thereby strength­en­ing the At­lantic salmon brand and com­pet­i­tive­ness in the mar­ket­place.

Cooke Aqua­cul­ture pro­cesses and sells 115,000 tonnes of At­lantic salmon each year from its world­wide op­er­a­tions, which in­clude Scot­land.

Last month the com­pany ac­quired Balta Is­land Sea­fare, which has farm­ing op­er­a­tions on Shet­land. This ac­qui­si­tion, which in­cludes three farm sites and just over 1,000 tonnes of salmon pro­duc­tion, gives Cooke Aqua­cul­ture Scot­land ex­clu­sive man­age­ment over the north­ern most farm­ing re­gion in the UK.

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