Development and commercialisation of safe, effective and user-friendly photonics based sea lice removal system for salmon farms
Background to the project
Salmon farms across the world are suffering from infestations of sea lice. Where infected fish have a far lower selling price due to the lesions the parasites cause, sea lice can also kill salmon. Any more than 3 lice on an infant fish and 10 lice on a mature fish can be fatal. Once sea lice thresholds have been exceeded, regulation requires fish farmers to undertake some form of sea lice removal treatment. Estimates of yearly losses caused to global salmon farmers run as high as $1 billion (€880 million). State of the art solutions to remove sea lice from salmons include use of cleaner fish (ballan wrasse and lumpfish which eats the lice from the salmon) and a range of thermal, chemical, mechanical and laser treatments. Cleaner fish has proven to be an effective solution but there remain major concerns over cleaner fish welfare conditions and the increased pressure on wild stocks of cleaner fish, particularly ballan wrasse. Thermal, mechanical and chemical treatments have shown their efficacy in removing the sea lice from salmon, they also remove the mucus layer from the fish which puts them at a high risk of a secondary infection. Laser technology is effective at removing lice however it only removes one louse at a time and there can be up to 20 lice per fish in some farms.
APS is an innovative Irish SME making great strides in the biophotonic field. The PHOTOLICER project is focussed on the removal of sea lice from farmed salmon using photonics.
UWAVE is a French SME specialising in the design and build of lights for the UV market.
Rory is a Mechanical Engineer who has been working with photonics for almost 30 years.
Kevin is a Zoologist who has been working in the Aquaculture field for over 30 years.
Ciaran is a Photonics Specialist who graduated from NUIG with an Honours BSc (Applied Physics) and an MSc (Photonics).
John is a Mechanical Engineer who has been working as a toolmaker for the past 30 years.
Noreen is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and an Associate of the Institute of Taxation of Ireland.
|Work Package||Description||Lead Partner|
|WP4||End User Validation Trials||APS|
|1||Project delivered within allocated time and budget||30/11/2023|
|2||Hardware design updated to achieve 50mm working distance between fish and LED source||31/07/2021|
|3||Photolicer system for 3kg salmon||31/07/2021|
|4||All 6 Photolicer tubes/system ready for validation trials||31/03/2022|
|5||Regulatory approvals documents prepared and submitted||30/11/2023|
|6||Photolicer approved through end user trials||31/07/2021|
|7||Fish Welfare Report demonstrating no negative impact on fish health and overall marine environment||31/03/2022|
|8||IP Strategy developed and implimented||31/07/2022|
|9||Photolicer dissemination and exploitation activities completed||30/11/2023|
|1||Live risk register||A live risk register to accommodate any new risks and update existing mitigation strategy||Report||31/01/2021|
|2||Report detailing optimised working distance to detach lice||Report detailing efforts during T2.1 to achieve the optimised working distance to detach lice||Report||28/02/2021|
|3||Report detailing detaching mechanism, optimised light intensity and its co-relation with the dosage||Report detailing detaching mechanism during T2.2, optimised light intensity during T2.3 and its co-relation with the dosage during T2.4.||Report||31/07/2021|
|4||16 LEDs based Photolicer system for 3Kg Salmon||Photolicer system designed, manufactured and tested to delouse sea lice on 3Kg salmon @1 fish/second and with a working distance of ~55mm.||Demonstrator||31/01/2022|
|5||16 LEDs based Photolicer system for 1,2,4,5 and 6Kg Salmon||Photolicer systems designed, manufactured and tested to delouse sea lice on 1,2,4,5 and 6 Kg salmon @1 fish/second and with a working distance of ~55mm.||Demonstrator||31/03/2022|
|6||Feasibility report on AI/ML powered universal SMART Tube to handle varied sizes b/w 1 to 6Kg||A report detailing the feasibility of developing a single SMART tube which can handle all fish sizes between 1 to 6kg and can change the light/distance/intensity/power settings automatically based on fish size. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities will be researched to achieve this capability||Report||30/11/2023|
|7||End user trial sites preparation completed||All trials arrangements at Curraun Blue Fish Farm complete.||Demonstrator||31/05/2022|
|8||Phase 1 of iterative testing complete||Photolicer system trialed at end user site. First series of results quantified and fed back to update/optimise the overall technology.||Report||30/11/2022|
|9||Phase 2 end-user testing and Photolicer ready for commercialisation||A report detailing the successful end user trials using all 6 tubes of the Photolicer system which can handle all fish sizes between 1 to 6kg and provide the delousing efficacy of >99% @ 1 fish/second.||Report||31/11/2023|
|10||Fish welfare assessment report and customer satisfaction reports||Customer satisfaction surveys complete and publicly disseminated. An independent fish welfare report detailing the impact of Photolicer on the overall fish welfare and rate of growth||Report||30/11/2023|
|11||IP strategy implemented, Branding registered in targeted countries||At least one new patent filed and existing patent application (P126372GB00) granted||Websites, patents filing, etc.||31/07/2022|
|12||Completion of promotional material including project website on APS homepage that is publicly accessible||All promotional materials produced and signed off by the consortium to be published via online and print media||Other||30/11/2023|
|13||Updated commercialisation, marketing and product launch plans signed off||Commercialisation, marketing and product plan updated as per end user engagement and further market knowledge gained through this project.||Report||30/11/2023|
|14||At least 3 relevant conferences, seminars and trade shows attended||Presentation in at least one conference, attendance of one trade show with APS stand. Symposiums, and exhibitions (poster presented) attendance surrounding fish welfare and delousing.||Other||30/11/2023|
|15||Procedures for internal processes||Documentation summarising internal processes (e.g. setting up a new customer, booking an order, scheduling a treatment, invoicing, credit control, when to involve technical support) complete and signed off||Report||30/11/2023|
|16||Project Website creation and regular project updates||Project website live and updated every quarter (M3, M6, M9, M12, M15, M18, M21, M24, M27, M30, M33 and M36 to disseminate the project achievements. Regular project updates through social media channels.||Other||28/02/2021|
|17||Project brief||Brief document summarising project contribution to the overall EU goals and policies identified in the call for proposals. Project website will be updated every 6months over the project life to disseminate the project progress.||Other||31/05/2021|
|18||Fish Counter and Camera Systems in place for automated biomass information||Various counting systems and cameras evaluated, optimised systems selected and integrated.||Demonstrator||30/11/2023|