Scaling up the use of cleaner fish

Increased harvest volumes of salmon and reduced reliance on medicinal controls, with the knock-on benefits of job creation in rural areas and improved perceptions about the environmental sustainability of salmon farming.

Project Summary

Project life: 42 months

Anticipated benefits

Increased harvest volumes of salmon and reduced reliance on medicinal controls, with the knock-on benefits of job creation in rural areas and improved perceptions about the environmental sustainability of salmon farming.

74%

Industry Contribution

21%

SAIC Contribution

5%

Academia Contribution

Partners

  • Mowi Scotland
  • Scottish Sea Farms
  • BioMar
  • Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling

Other Information

Ballan wrasse is a type of ‘cleaner fish’ which eats naturally occurring marine parasites, such as sea lice, from salmon. The majority of wrasse used in this way has been sourced from the wild in accordance with the guidelines from Marine Scotland, RSPCA Assured and local fishery boards. The aim of this project was to develop an aquaculture system for Ballan Wrasse in order to provide a sustainable stock.

 

BallanWrasse.jpg
Ballan Wrasse

The natural lifecycle of wrasse is six years and over this time, the project team bred wild-caught wrasse, raising the offspring from egg to adults of reproductive age. These offspring have now produced their own eggs and successfully hatched, the first fully farmed lifecycle of wrasse in a controlled environment.

This has provided a proven, repeatable procedure for breeding, weaning and rearing wrasse and will lead to a reduced reliance on wild stock.

This has provided a proven, repeatable procedure for breeding, weaning and rearing wrasse and will lead to a reduced reliance on wild stock.