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Research team takes on gill disease

A new multistakeholder collaboration in Europe is aiming to improve the health of farmed salmon by finding ways to better understand the risk factors associated with gill disease.

October 30, 2018  By Hatchery International Staff

Dream team (L-R): Benedicte Simensen (Marine Harvest)

Benchmark’s Fish Vet Group (FVG), Marine Harvest Norway and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences will work together on a three-year project that hopes to gain better insights into this disease that is proving to be a significant factor for farmed Norwegian salmon, a blog post from Benchmark’s website said.

The Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF) is funding the research collaboration, with contributions from Marine Harvest and FVG.

“Compromised gill health has emerged to be a major factor in the farming of salmonids in Norway, leading to economic losses and reduced animal welfare in both the marine and freshwater phases of production,” according to the online article by Amy Firth on the Benchmark website.

The project consists of three work packages and is aimed at identifying risk factors for gill disease, with a focus on the effect of net management strategies on gill health.


The potential effects of phyto- and zooplankton, different net types and net maintenance, as well as thermal and mechanical sea lice treatments will be evaluated in order to identify management strategies that can prevent, reduce and minimise impact of gill disease.

The researchers will also identify useful indicators of gill health to help decision-making at farm level.

The project is underway and completion is expected by the summer of 2021.

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