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Salmon lice

Salmon lice pose a significant challenge for both fish welfare and the environment. The development of resistance in salmon lice means that it is necessary to develop new methods for effective control of the parasite. SINTEF uses its interdisciplinary expertise to find solutions to the problem.

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Monitoring and preventing salmon lice 

Knowledge about behaviour during the free-swimming stages of salmon lice is necessary in order to implement targeted and effective measures against lice infestation. SINTEF develops and tests equipment to investigate how free-swimming salmon lice larvae move in the water column and under varying light and temperature conditions throughout the day.  

Shielding technology, such as lice skirts, is currently used as one of several preventive measures against salmon lice.  Common to all measures that prevent the spread of salmon lice is that a good understanding is required of how free-swimming lice stages are distributed in the water column, and how environmental stimuli such as light and temperature affect their vertical migration patterns. This is something that SINTEF investigates with the help of our self-developed trial rig called VERTILUS.

SINTEF uses SINMOD models to determine flow conditions and the spread of infection between fish farms along the coast with regard to both lice and viruses. The models provide better knowledge about the individual locality and the ‘infection network’ it has with other locations. This can provide the aquaculture industry and administration with a better basis for decision-making. In addition, SINMOD has models that are used to find out how lice from fish farms spread and how they can potentially affect wild populations.  

Expertise and services: 

Facilities and tools: 

  • The SINMOD framework has several models for modelling the spread of pelagic stages of lice.  

Managing salmon lice infestation 

Salmon lice can be controlled in various ways that include medication, cleaner fish and mechanical methods. The goal is to prevent and limit the damage salmon lice can inflict on farmed salmon. SINTEF contributes with knowledge and tools to develop more robust technological solutions for combating salmon lice. This includes auxiliary solutions for salmon lice control, preventive non-medicinal solutions, as well as delousing methods. The work includes numerical calculations, model trials and full-scale trials.  


  • Hydrodynamics 
  • Oceanography 
  • Materials technology 
  • Structural engineering 
  • Product design 
  • Imaging 
  • Operations 
  • Technology testing 
  • Biology and behaviour 
  • Plankton ecology 

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Team Sea Lice

Andreas Hagemann

Andreas Hagemann

Senior Research Scientist SINTEF Ocean
922 81 275
Birger Venås

Birger Venås

Research Scientist SINTEF Ocean
958 44 611
Zsolt Volent

Zsolt Volent

Senior Research Scientist SINTEF Ocean
926 40 330
Ingrid Helene Ellingsen

Ingrid Helene Ellingsen

Senior Research Scientist SINTEF Ocean
415 40 763
Leif Magne Sunde

Leif Magne Sunde

Research Manager SINTEF Ocean
900 99 485