Producing native lumpfish for the UK salmon industry
Parasitic sea-lice are the biggest threat facing sustainable salmon production in the world with an annual cost to industry of £500 mill. Using lumpfish as cleaner fish offers an attractive alternative to the use of chemicals or medicines. Research on lumpfish at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) - Swansea University, started in 2014. Following this, an R&D collaboration project was developed with industry (c.£1.2 M) to develop this novel species as a solution to the sea-lice problem facing the industry. With a developing network throughout the North Atlantic, a new 4 year WEFO project (c £2M), and two new UK research and development collaborations started in 2018 (c £0.25M annually and £0.05M), CSAR are playing an increasingly major role in Lumpfish research and industry development at both a UK and international level.
The lumpfish project continues to provide ample opportunities for enhancing the student experience and to date we have had: three funded postgraduate scholarships (2 PhD, 1 MRes), over 20 UG and PGR student projects have been developed, 3 ERASMUS exchange programs, 6 intern placements and over 70 undergrad students have worked for up to 6 weeks in CSAR learning aspects of lumpfish husbandry and writing a practical report on nutrition and welfare.
A multi-country collaboration with the largest UK cleaner fish supplier (Cleaner Fish Company Ltd.), largest lumpfish producer in the UK (Ocean Matters Ltd) and one of the largest salmon producers (The Scottish Salmon Company), will allow CSAR to develop novel UK disease screened lumpfish for the salmon industry.