Current focus areas
Biofouling as a risk factor for gill disorder and gill disease
Gill disorder and infectious gill diseases are on-going challenges for the global fin-fish industry. Norway's salmon industry is no exception and the recent discovery of Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD) in a number of farms is likely to require particular control and mitigation efforts. The role of biofouling communities as pathogen reservoirs and active gill irritants is currently not well understood. Together with a range of Norwegian and international partners, SINTEF is currently developing R&D projects aimed at understanding the role of biofouling as a risk factor for gill disease, with particular focus on the effects of hydroid nematocysts (stinging cells).
Improved net cleaning technology and protocols
The high-pressure cleaning tools currently used for removing biofouling from salmon farm nets have a number of short-comings. They generally do not achieve 100 % cleaning effectiveness and release cleaning waste into the environment. This waste material contains biofouling organisms and antifouling coating fragments, and may affect fish health or surrounding habitats. SINTEF is currently working with several industry partners to develop and evaluate improved cleaning technology and strategies to minimize waste emissions associated with net cleaning.
Biosecurity management in aquaculture
The aquaculture industry is an intricate network of marine farms and coastal supply and service bases, connected by movements of a variety of vessels and equipment types. SINTEF is currently undertaking internally-funded research to better understand the aquaculture transport network and to identify information needs and technological solutions for improved asset and biosecurity management across the industry.