The course blog for Bio 412 - Marine Biology at Ashland University
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sea lice have been a big problem in the ocean lately. The sea lice have had a major impact on important fishing industries and have become a major problem in the Norwegian aquaculture industry. Researchers have been trying to find many different ways to fight these sea lice and to try to save the industry. They have been trying to develop vaccines and other chemical treatments to fight the sea lice. Unfortunately, some of the lice have developed resistance to the current means of defense. Researchers have now found a possible solution to the problem. “[A] cleaner fish called the Ballan wrasse is being enlisted to eat mass quantities of sea lice directly off infected salmon.”
Now that they have come up with a possible solution to this problem, the new problem has become how to produce enough of these fish to keep the parasite in check in all of the industry hotspots. They also need to figure out a place to keep all of these Ballan wrasse. They have come up with a few possible places that they could use to hold these fish including empty cod tanks which are not currently being used.
They have also run into the problem that these wrasse do not just feed on the sea lice, they can feed on algae and mollusks as well. The problem with this is how to control the wrasse to feed mostly on the wrasse and not its other food sources.
This fish could become a very important part of the effort to save the Norwegian aquaculture industry; researchers just need to find a way to sort of perfect the use of it. The use of animals to help other animals, especially for industrial purposes is a very interesting topic. For more information see the full article.