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MTI award for sea lice research

Mike Pietrak, Dr Sally Molloy, Deborah Bouchard and Dr Ian Bricknell of the University of Maine Aquaculture Research Institute have been awarded $14,387 by MTI for the development of a new biological trap for sea lice.

The sea louse is currently the greatest economic threat to Atlantic salmon culture in the North Atlantic. A biological sea lice trap consisting of mussel rafts containing slow-release semiochemicals may reduce sea lice densities while contributing to environmental and economic sustainability. Semiochemicals would attract planktonic sea lice larva without affecting other plankton. The filter-feeding mussels would remove sea lice from the water column. We propose to demonstrate that the addition of semiochemicals to a mussel mass enhances the reduction of sea lice settlement on co-habitating Atlantic salmon as proof of concept to develop and commercialize a biological sea lice trap.

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