EcoFish – Environmentally Friendly Fish Farming and use of Cleaner Fish

Duration 2008 - 2011
Funding Body INTERREG Northern Periphery Programme
Project Costs €1,594,966
Project Co-ordinator Bodø University College, Norway
Number of Partners 5
EcoFish – Environmentally Friendly Fish Farming and use of Cleaner Fish

The objective of the project was to minimise the environmental impact of salmonid and gadoid aquaculture using hatchery produced cleaner fish to remove parasitic sea lice thereby reducing the use of therapeutic treatments.

As well as having an environmental benefit, the use of wrasse should allay concerns from increasingly knowledgeable consumers and retailers who demand that the food they eat should be produced sustainably and without unnecessary treatments. Indeed, these concerns have led to a rapid increase in demand for organically produced food. By removing the need to use chemicals to remove lice, the project brought benefits to the farmers, via reduced losses due to sea lice related problems, but also allowed them to exploit the lucrative organic market and give their products a marketing advantage. The project delivered the methods and technology to produce cleaner fish for use by the cod and salmon farming industry in all the partner countries. The physical outcome of the project was a substantial number of wrasse for field application for proving the technique on fish farms in partner countries. Dedicated wrasse production hatcheries were established in Ireland, Norway and in Scotland where they developed successful rearing techniques and production methods through close collaboration and exchange of information amongst the partners, their associates, the aquaculture industry, governments and regulators./p>