Pharmaq Analytiq, Seasmart and Optimeering Aqua were awarded funds of 1MNOK from the framework in 2017.

SeaSmart_miljø Photo: Seasmart

1. The effect of mechanical delousing on the thymoid tissue in salmon

This grant goes to pursue a line of enquiry towards if modern delousing methods adversely affect the thymoid tissue in the gill cavity of salmonids. The thymoid tissue is a key component of the immune system and loss of such tissue, partly or completely renders the immune system incompetent to meet the day to day challenges posed by pathogens in modern day aquaculture. Findings in histological slides indicate that something was adversely affecting the thymoid and that the worst cases of tissue loss were in fish been frequently deloused using lukewarm water. The project aims at looking at an existing store of histological slides and develop further knowledge towards a larger research project.

2. Historical and geographical distribution of Tenacibaculum maritimum


Findings in gill samples indicate that the bacteria Tenacibaculum maritimum has recently become a problem within the complex gill pathology of Atlantic salmon. This bacterium has not been much researched and has not been on the radar as a pathogenic species. This project will lay the foundations for a larger project by rescreening historical tissue samples for signs of the bacteria in order to establish if this bacterium is a recent addition to the bacteriological ecosystem and to which extent it is prevalent along the Norwegian coast. One will also try to establish if the bacteria is a previously non-pathogenic species that now has mutated to a more pathogenic form.

3. Sharing of environmental data in the aquaculture industry


Using a drone for sampling the environment in an aquaculture cage is a novel method of sampling.  The sampling of multiple sensors is spatially continuous and echo sounders identify where the fish is concentrated thus being able to indicate the effect of environmental factors on fish and ectoparasites such as sealice.  New developments using AI in sealice management have identified environmental sampling as a weak link in the total picture and in this project, SeaSmart and Anteo will explore how continuous environmental data can apply in an AI analysis environment.

4. Decision support for better management of biological risk in farming


The project will explore how one can develop a decision support tool based on automation/optimization of (short-term) production planning for farming that assists farmers in making better decisions/choices in biological production challenges such as disease outbreak, lice disease, algae bloom, etc. Should you kill or slaughter? Which method of delousing should one use? Should you treat PD or cull the cohort? Should you either harvest a cage or an entire site? The tool to answer these questions lies in linking data and knowledge about biological factors, economic factors and the structural production frameworks. Knowledge and data where the partners are complementary.

OptimeeringAqua and partner Pathogen will explore the opportunities and value creation potential in combining and further developing their solutions in a jointly developed tool for decision support and involve Grieg Seafood and Cermaq to ensure proper focus on the tool.