- news, features, articles and disease information for the fish industry


Scotland’s First Thermolicer to Help Combat Sea Lice

19 July 2016

SCOTLAND, UK - As part of an on-going initiative to develop and use natural solutions to control sea lice, Scottish Sea Farms has invested over £4 million in purchasing Scotland’s first innovative Thermolicer machine.

The Thermolicer is a machine that uses zero chemicals in the treatment of sea lice. The lice have a low tolerance for changes in temperature and the new machine uses this fact to use water temperatures to eradicate the parasite. It is a simple and environmentally friendly method that goes beyond the traditional treatments.

The Thermolicer is currently being trialled in Shetland and Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) will cooperate with other farmers in Scotland sharing the use and knowledge of using the Thermolicer with them. There is a clear aspiration to reduce the need for medicinal treatments in the fight against the naturally occurring parasite and SSF continue to make investments to achieve this.

Ralph Bickerdike, Scottish Sea Farms Head of Fish Health, commented: “Sea lice is a challenge for all fish farmers in most salmon producing areas. At Scottish Sea Farms we intend being part of the solution to this challenge. Our work with SAIC and other industry partners in this area has already reaped huge benefits through our work with wrasse and lumpfish – varieties of cleaner fish.

“The Thermolicer is the latest step in developing alternative tools to maintain a sustainable solution to fish health management.”

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC said: “We are delighted to see this level of innovation and collaboration happening in Scotland. The industry is tackling the biological issues it faces with energy and initiative, and with a strong commitment to sustainable practices. Scottish Sea Farms is leading the way, allowing the learning from deploying this new equipment being trialed to be shared with other operators in Shetland.”

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said: “Scotland’s salmon farmers have always been at the forefront of new inventions creating technological solutions as needs have evolved. Collaboration and sharing knowledge and skills have been paramount in enhancing fish welfare. It also reinforces our commitment to environmental and industry sustainability – crucial in driving our industry forward. We look forward to hearing the results and seeing how it can integrate with established health management strategies to the benefit of the whole industry.”

TheFishSite News Desk

Our Sponsors


Sustainable Aquaculture Modular Courses AVAILABLE NOW - University of St Andrews

Seasonal Picks

Know Your Freshwater Fishes - 5m

Aquacullture Webinars from TheFishSite - Sign Up Now