Cooke gets $3.2m to battle sea lice
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.