Making a delousing treatment more fish-friendly

A cure should never be worse than the disease. In modern aquaculture, unfortunately that’s not always the case. When chemical treatments for parasites go wrong, they go very wrong, and cause mass mortalities of hundreds of thousands of fish.
One very common treatment to control external parasites is hydrogen peroxide baths. For salmon, the treatment is extremely toxic at warmer temperatures and can lead to fish deaths.
Kathy Overton, a Melbourne University Masters student invented a new method to make hydrogen peroxide treatment more fish friendly. By switching fish from warm ocean temperatures to cold treatment baths, Kathy showed the treatment was just as effective against the parasites and no deaths occurred. Once the industry takes up the new method, millions fewer fish will suffer each year.

Kathy Overton performing her experiment at the Institute of Marine Research, Norway.