BACKGROUNDSea lice infestations on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) farms are a considerable burden on the industry and put wild salmonid populations at risk. Frequent delousing treatments are necessary to keep lice densities below allowable limits, but currently viable treatments have drawbacks in terms of financial cost, animal welfare, or environmental impacts. We tested if 254 nm ultraviolet C light (UVC) could function as a new preventative method to suppress reproduction of salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) by sterilizing fertilized eggs. We exposed salmon lice eggstrings to a range of UVC intensities and durations to identify effective doses.
RESULTSA cumulative dose of 0.008 J cm
CONCLUSIONUVC treatment has immediate applications for the salmon aquaculture industry, including for the treatment of wastewater from delousing or other operations. Future work will assess the feasibility of UVC dose delivery on host salmon in sea cage environments that involves little or no fish handling and creates negligible environmental impacts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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