Lasers against sea lice...REALLY!

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by agentaqua, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  2. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Your skills at your computer continue to impress me agent; how do you find time to fish?, lol! Why are you (perhaps) ridiculing this project? Not Canadian money, what harm could any sea lice research do?
    Sounds like an interesting possible thesis for some bright student to me.
  3. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    Why do you get so sensetive about Sea Lice? Perhaps you saw something that keeps you up at night.
    trophywife likes this.
  4. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    terrin, are you not in favor of any kind of research into the impacts off sea lice? Agreed, this does seem a bit off the wall but what harm could come from it?
  5. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Ya - exactly - for one of Dr. Evil's students working with ill-tempered, mutated sea bass, perhaps.
    It's a distraction. I guess it distracts from the simpler - but less sexy - response of removing the open net-cage technology from waters where it interacts with wild salmon.

    An aside: Dr Giuseppe Paladini is from the University of Bologna...

    you can't make this stuff up... truth is stranger than fiction...
    seascene and trophywife like this.
  6. bigbruce

    bigbruce Well-Known Member

    I suspect you were trying to be funny - but, the University of Bologna is the oldest university in the world, founded in 1088. It has consistently been rated among the top 250 Universities in the world.
  7. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Yes I was, BB. Thanks for reiterating that. No slur intended on the UoB! And that's no bologna!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  8. fogged in

    fogged in Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="Dave, post: 811627, member: 5493? Not Canadian money, what harm could any sea lice research do?
    Sounds like an interesting possible thesis for some bright student to me.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with any and all efforts to find a solution to Fish Farm Sea Lice.
    Got to do something about the huge problem Fish Farm have with sea lice and their effect on our wild salmon.
    Sea Lice is an ongoing problem for Fish Farms and "Slice" is becoming less and less effective, would you not agree?
    gone fishin likes this.
  9. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    Shooting sea lice off a fish.... can it be done? Why not.....
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
    seascene and Birdsnest like this.
  10. bigbruce

    bigbruce Well-Known Member

    So to add something to the thread - having read the link, I, like Dave and Fogged in, don't see a problem with research aimed at solving the sea-lice problem - particularly efforts that do not involve chemicals. I certainly wouldn't ridicule scientists from well recognized academic institutions for instituting and supporting such research. It may amount to nothing - but hey, there were a whole bunch of folks to told Orville and Wilbur they couldn't get the rat trap off the ground. I guess I'm having difficulty, Aqua, understanding why you think the project is folly.
  11. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    Becouse the agent is anti everything. He/she is not looking for solutions to anything only pointing out problems where the only possible solution is to shut it down if it's canadian. I bet this guy talks down sport fishing on other forums.
  12. fogged in

    fogged in Well-Known Member

    How about stopping the personal attacks Birdsnest
    We are entitled to an opinion
    Do you have an opinion on laser technology as a control method against sea lice infections in Atlantic salmon farms?
  13. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Fair question, BB. Thanks for the opportunity to explain.

    Broadly: I am supportive of interesting research in general - and in specific research on sea lice. Having said that - practically - how would this work - and would this (if successful, logistically feasible, and affordable and instituted in every pen in every farm....) resolve the issues around impacts to wild salmon vis-a-vis transfer and amplification of disease and parasite vectors to wild salmon? Frankly - I just can't see it happening. Let me explain:

    I am unsure of the accuracy and strength of lasers under the water to begin with. Maybe that is really the questions that this proposed masters project can answer - how does the thermal mass of the water cool the heat availability of the laser; how does plankton and other particles scatter and absorb the laser beam; how is the strength of the laser attenuated through the water; how close does the apparatus have to be to the target in order to have an effect; whether it does have any effect on sea lice; will sea lice drop off fish or be killed; how does the fish have to be positioned in order to be "cleaned"; whether or not you can even see sea lice on passing fish in order to zap them; how does one get fish close to the apparatus; etc - all valid "scientific" questions and research.

    Practical? I just can't see it. Just the fact that fish swim in the water - not air - and water cools (absorbs heat, including any heat applied to lice) and attenuates light (see figure below) might very well be an inescapable reality - very different than using lasers to zap flying mosquitoes in the air. The infrared light (IR on figure below) laser that they use for mosquitoes would be absorbed in a few centimeters of distance through the water (which is why when you are diving - everything looks green and blue after greater than ~30 feet or so). Maybe they would need to develop green or yellow laser technology for this to work in water.

    And keep in mind this graph is from "pure" water - not normal, salt/marine waters with a plankton bloom, and suspended solids - that would further inhibit light transmission in a fish farm - and decrease laser efficiency, and energy applied to target.

    There are some 20-30 farms just in and around the Broughtons - for example - each with 600,000-2M fish spread into 30ish or so pens (broad-scale - can argue details, later). Each farmed Atlantic salmon will have an assortment of different stages and different numbers and often even different species of lice - dependent upon the season, oceanographic variables, and treatment activities. It is not uncommon for each fish to have some 6-30 adult lice and approx the same number of subadult and earlier life history stages on it. The earlier stages can only be seen with magnification (could the laser "see" and identify those? and if so - how would it differentiate between early stages of lice and plankton? There are potentially millions of zooplankters in 1 liter of sea water. Wouldn't the laser end-up trying to zap out all the plankton in the sea instead?).

    Dependent upon water temps - then that sea lice life history cycle (eggs to adults) completes itself every 38 days at 10C (for leps). So new lice pop-up all the time - and the laser would have to kill enough lice on the millions of fish - just to stay ahead of the game. And there are many farms all over the world - not just the Broughtons.

    So assuming they even manage to get lasers to work - and resolve the many issues I outlined above (i.e. the valid "scientific" questions and research) - it still has to work on the fish farms - be practical and effective - and affordable. In every pen with 30,000-60,000 fish swimming all over the place in various aspects, depths, speeds and distances have to get hit with a laser that can see and zap each louse on all sides of that fish - in amounts enough to keep those fish clean - in every pen - in every farm - worldwide (assuming lasers will work to begin with - which hasn't even been proven yet).

    And fish farmers would have to buy enough devices and afford to buy enough devices for every pen, world wide - be forced by legislation to use them in every pen (maybe several/numerous lasers in each pen since they would need to be close to the fish to zap lice) - and use them effectively. How many lasers would you need for each pen and each farm world-wide? Are those laser units developed and commercially available and cost-effective? How much would this cost the industry? Is it likely to happen?


    You instead go to closed containment - and transition by ensuring a proper environmental assessment including scoping and risk was done - and pens were kept out the worst places.

    Potentially less "sexy" - but which is more practical, cost-effective - and likely to be successful? You be the judge...

    (PS - even assuming this laser was ever effective against lice - it would be ineffective in mitigating disease transfer and amplification).
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  14. bigbruce

    bigbruce Well-Known Member

    It's a research project proposal for a PHD candidate. Presumably it will address all of the issues you've raised. I am not going to prejudge the results - and again, I'm having a whole lot of difficulty understanding why you are.
  15. bones

    bones Well-Known Member

    How do they plan on lazering wild stocks?
  16. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    My focus is a little less on straight academics - and a bit more of addressing management issues. I think we can agree that it is an academic pursuit - rather than focused on addressing the implications of sea lice loading and transfer from farmed fish.
  17. bigbruce

    bigbruce Well-Known Member

    I'm assuming you actually read what you posted. The technology has been developed. The research is intended to determine its efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with various types and sizes of sea lice in the farmed salmon environment. I see that as being a bit more than an academic pursuit. I agree that there is no stated intent to address the implications of sea lice loading and transfer from farmed fish to wild. However, I would suspect that if the technology proves successful in effectively eliminating sea lice in the farmed environment, there would be no lice to load or transfer.
  18. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for the attention to detail, BB. We'll see how it goes.
  19. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Ah agent, don't you wish you hadn't posted that comment? I'm betting it would be different if you had to do it again ...
  20. fogged in

    fogged in Well-Known Member

    Hey Dave
    your question has nothing to do with the subject.
    What's YOUR opinion on using lasers technology to reduce the huge problem of Sea Lice in Fish Farms and the effect these Lice have on our wild salmon?

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