What is it?

A thermolicer is a water-based removal treatment used to treat sea lice on farmed salmon.

Why is it used?

Sea lice are naturally occurring ectoparasites that can cause harm to farmed salmon, mechanical treatments are part of an array of management methods used to treat sea lice on farms.

How does it work?

Mode of action: The treatment method uses water at 30-34OC, the sea lice have a low tolerance for changes in temperature causing removal of the lice. The salmon get passed through the processing loop in 25-30 seconds before being returned to their pens.

  1. Fish enter the Thermolicer after being pumped up from their pen
  2. Water separation
  3. Sea water is filtered and released
  4. The fish is exposed to lukewarm water
  5. Treatment loop
  6. Water surface
  7. Water separator for treatment water
  8. Fish exits the system back into pen
  9. Heated water is circulated to water tank for filtration, aeration and reheating
  10. Treatment water is pumped back to the treatment loop

How may it impact the environment?

There are no environmental impacts from using a thermolicer. After use treatment water is filtered, aerated, oxygenated and reused in the system.

Is it safe for the fish?

Staff trained in fish welfare are always present during a treatment to ensure fish welfare is maintained throughout the process. A treatment will be stopped immediately should any concerns over fish health and welfare arise.

All members subscribe to the code of good practice, this details fish health and welfare standards that all farmers commit to upholding. In addition to the code farmers can volunteer to subscribe to the RSPCA Assured accreditation scheme. To receive this accreditation farmers must operate to the RSPCA welfare standards for Atlantic Salmon.