Sea Lice CleanTreat

Nor­we­gian scale up for award win­ning UK in­no­va­tion

Fish Farmer - - Editor’s Welcome Contents – Contact Us Meet The Te -

THE com­pany be­hind the prize win­ning CleanTreat fil­tra­tion tech­nol­ogy that cleanses treat­ment wa­ter af­ter de­lous­ing is look­ing to scale up the sys­tem. Bench­mark Hold­ings said last month it plans to in­vest £19 mil­lion in the break­through in­no­va­tion ahead of the launch of its new sea lice medicine, BMK8 (for­merly known as Ec­tosan), due in the first half of 2021.

Over the past 24 months, more than 35,000 tonnes of sal­mon in five Nor­we­gian farms have been treated with BMK08, achiev­ing ap­prox­i­mately 99 per cent ef­fi­cacy, said Bench­mark.

The com­pound must be used in con­junc­tion with CleanTreat, which re­moves medic­i­nal residues from treat­ment wa­ter.

Bench­mark said there is grow­ing in­ter­est from cus­tomers for the prod­uct and it es­ti­mates that BMK08/CleanTreat sales could reach £50 mil­lion in Nor­way alone and £75 mil­lion glob­ally.

How­ever, there have been no tri­als of the prod­ucts in Scot­land yet, due to reg­u­la­tory bot­tle­necks. The slow pace of Scot­tish bu­reau­cracy emerged dur­ing the Aqua Nor show in Trond­heim last Au­gust, when Bench­mark won the cov­eted In­no­va­tion Award for CleanTreat.

John Marshall, head of An­i­mal Health at Bench­mark, said at the time that 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.

Marshall and head of CleanTreat Neil Robert­son held meet­ings dur­ing Aqua Nor with Scot­land’s ru­ral econ­omy min­is­ter Fer­gus

Ewing and Gra­ham Black, di­rec­tor of Ma­rine Scot­land, to try to speed up Scot­tish tri­als.

Rober­ston said af­ter the dis­cus­sions: ‘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.’

CleanTreat, de­vel­oped over a 10-year pe­riod at Ard­toe in Scot­land, 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, in­clud­ing pyrethroid­s, deltamethr­in, and aza­me­thiphos. The solution also re­moves treated sea lice, so they will not spread re­sis­tance.

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

Some farm sites have to treat over an ex­tended pe­riod due to low dis­charge con­sents, but the CleanTreat sys­tem would al­low treat­ments to be car­ried out over a re­duced time as the

medicine has been re­moved from the wa­ter be­fore dis­charge.

Ewing, whose of­fice met the Bench­mark team shortly af­ter Aqua Nor, said he wanted to en­sure that such sus­tain­able tech­nolo­gies like CleanTreat are not only de­vel­oped in Scot­land but that Scot­land is also an at­trac­tive place to trial such tech­nolo­gies.

‘Given the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits and sus­tain­abil­ity cre­den­tials of the CleanTreat sys­tem, and huge po­ten­tial for im­prove­ments in fish health, we would like to offer fur­ther sup­port to reach a posi­ton whereby tri­als could be started in Scot­land.’

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ma­rine Scot­land and the Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency (Sepa) toured a ves­sel fit­ted with the CleanTreat sys­tem last Septem­ber, when it was docked in Leith be­fore sail­ing for Nor­way to work on Nor­we­gian sal­mon farms.

Nor­we­gian agen­cies have been strongly supportive of the sys­tem’s devel­op­ment and it will be the first mar­ket for a com­mer­cial roll‐out.

Scot­land was the pre­ferred next mar­ket, but this is de­pen­dent on the reg­u­la­tory process, said Bench­mark.

‘We con­tinue to ac­tively work with the var­i­ous au­thor­i­ties to bring this in­no­va­tive process to our Scot­tish and Nor­we­gian cus­tomers,’ said Robert­son.

“We have been meet­ing with Bench­mark to guide them through the reg­u­la­tory frame­work”

At Aqua Nor, they had had meet­ings 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,’ said Robert­son dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion.

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

Bench­mark has re­vealed plans to raise a net sum of £41.5 mil­lion – to fund CleanTreat and other busi­ness‐ through share is­sues.

Ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Peter Ge­orge said last month: ‘We are pre­par­ing to launch BMK08, our novel medic­i­nal treat­ment to com­bat sea lice, one of the main bi­o­log­i­cal chal­lenges in sal­mon farm­ing.

‘This re­quires scal­ing up CleanTreat, our pro­pri­etary sys­tem that re­moves medic­i­nal residues from treat­ment wa­ter, and which is in­te­gral to the de­liv­ery of BMK08.

‘Hav­ing re­viewed a num­ber of fund­ing op­tions, we strongly be­lieve that an eq­uity raise is the op­ti­mal fund­ing strat­egy to de­liver this scale.’

A Ma­rine Scot­land spokesman told Fish Farmer in Jan­uary: ‘At the mo­ment we and Scot­tish En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency and the Vet­eri­nary Medicines Direc­torate have been meet­ing with Bench­mark on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to guide them through the reg­u­la­tory frame­work to al­low tri­als to start in Scot­land; this work is on­go­ing.’

Left: Bench­mark’s John Marshall (left) and Neil Robert­son at Aqua Nor last Au­gust

Above: The CleanTreat sys­tem has been ex­ten­sively tri­alled in Nor­way

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.