Aqua Nor

Home-grown Treat scoops top honour but reg­u­la­tors pre­vent tri­als in Scot­land

Fish Farmer - - Contents -

In­no­va­tion Award

THE team be­hind the Scot­tish in­ven­tion CleanTreat, which won the much prized Aqua Nor In­no­va­tion Award, held high level talks at the ex­hi­bi­tion to fa­cil­i­tate tri­als of the sys­tem in Scot­land.

So far, the break­through sea lice treat­ment sys­tem, which cleanses treat­ment wa­ter af­ter de­lous­ing in well boats, has only been tri­alled in Nor­way.

CleanTreat has suc­cess­fully pu­ri­fied more than 300,000m3 of treat­ment wa­ter, ac­cord­ing to John Mar­shall, head of An­i­mal Health at Bench­mark, which has de­vel­oped the in­no­va­tion over a 10-year pe­riod.

Bench­mark’s tri­umph, an­nounced in Trond­heim on the open­ing day of Aqua Nor, marks

the sec­ond win in a row for Scot­tish in­no­va­tion at the bi­en­nial show.

Dundee based Ace Aquatec scooped the award at the last Aqua Nor, held in 2017, for its in-wa­ter elec­tri­cal stun­ner.

Scot­tish Ru­ral Econ­omy min­is­ter Fer­gus Ewing, in Nor­way to wit­ness Bench­mark beat off stiff Nor­we­gian com­pe­ti­tion, said later that he was proud of the Scot­tish aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try’s achieve­ments.

How­ever, there is some im­pa­tience among Scot­tish salmon farm­ers over bot­tle­necks in the reg­u­la­tory sys­tem that have so far pre­vented them from tri­alling CleanTreat in Scot­land.

Mar­shall said his com­pany had been ap­proached by all the Scot­tish pro­duc­ers, in­ter­ested in de­ploy­ing CleanTreat at their farms, and he hoped there would be Scot­tish tri­als soon.

‘The tar­get was for the end of this year but, real­is­ti­cally, it will be next year,’ he told Fish Farmer at the show.

Mar­shall and head of CleanTreat Neil Robert­son both said they had been en­cour­aged by dis­cus­sions at Aqua Nor with Ewing and Gra­ham

Black, direc­tor of Marine Scot­land.

‘Ob­vi­ously, when you’re bring­ing in an in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion, peo­ple want some full un­der­stand­ing and a level of de­tail, and we’re ac­tively work­ing with all the au­thor­i­ties,’ said Robert­son.

‘We’re en­cour­aged by the pos­i­tive mes­sage from the min­is­ter and from Marine Scot­land. I think there is a re­ally strong in­cen­tive to sup­port us from the in­dus­try, and cer­tainly from gov­ern­ment as well.’

Mar­shall added: ‘The In­no­va­tion Award has helped in that ev­ery­body is say­ing this re­ally works now, it’s got that big stamp of ap­proval.

‘It’s not a case of hav­ing to have new reg­u­la­tion. I think there is reg­u­la­tion in Scot­land to deal with it but, of course, reg­u­la­tions are in­ter­preted and it’s about the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of how you use the cur­rent reg­u­la­tion along with CleanTreat.’

Robert­son said they had had meet­ings at Aqua Nor with po­ten­tial cus­tomers in the other big salmon pro­duc­ing coun­tries.

‘Many of our cus­tomers based in Nor­way cer­tainly have in­ter­ests in Chile and Canada as well, and the Faroe Is­lands.’

And many of the Nor­we­gians who see CleanTreat cur­rently be­ing de­ployed in Nor­way are in the same com­pa­nies based in Scot­land.

‘We be­lieve it’s a win for all, for the fish, for the salmon pro­duc­ers- and for the reg­u­la­tors, be­cause they have ex­pressed con­cern about new prod­ucts on the mar­ket and their en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact,’ said Robert­son.

CleanTreat has the po­ten­tial to be used on well boats, tankers, plat­forms and on­shore, and has proven to be ef­fec­tive on most avail­able bath treat­ments for sea lice.

The so­lu­tion also re­moves treated sea lice, so they will not spread re­sis­tance to treat­ments.

Chem­i­cal based bath treat­ments that are re­leased into the wa­ter are one of the big­gest grounds for ob­jec­tions to the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try.

Mar­shall said their sys­tem is ‘rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the way that we use medicines and we want to make it avail­able for ev­ery­body’.

Asked if Scot­land might miss the boat be­cause of reg­u­la­tory hold-ups, Mar­shall said: ‘We ob­vi­ously don’t want Scot­land to lose out, but we will work where there is op­por­tu­nity, de­mand and less re­sis­tance.

‘Scot­land has to get its act to­gether but I be­lieve they are do­ing that.’

A boat is cur­rently be­ing fit­ted with the CleanTreat sys­tem in Leith, in Scot­land, but this is due to sail to Nor­way to start work on Nor­we­gian farms.

It’s rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the way that we use medicines and we want to make it avail­able for ev­ery­body”

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