New Sea Lice Treatment Available to BC Salmon Farmers

November 14, 2013 - Campbell River, B.C.

Marine Harvest Canada has received Health Canada approval for a new sea lice management option for farm-raised salmon. Hydrogen peroxide (Brand name Interox™ Paramove 50) is now in application for a provincial permit. The use of Paramove 50™ will enable the company to continue managing sea lice and reduce its use of the drug emamectin benzoate (Brand name Slice™) - the only effective treatment available to BC salmon farmers for the past 14 years.

"Our current use of Slice is minimal and has been very successful," says Clare Backman, Marine Harvest Canada's Director of Sustainable Programs. "However, strict 3rd party salmon certification standards press for continued reduction of Slice over time, so we are seeking to have another option for sea lice management."

Paramove 50™ has been used successfully elsewhere, including Eastern Canada, and is applied topically as a bath to remove small external fish parasites attached to the salmon. After treatment, the compound rapidly breaks down into water and oxygen. A summary of recent studies is available on the Marine Harvest Canada website www.marineharvest.ca.

British Columbia salmon farmers are recognized for successful management of sea lice on their cultured salmon (Rogers et al, 2013), but have for many years requested additional treatment options for the region. After thoroughly reviewing Marine Harvest's science based application, submitted through Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Health Canada has authorized use of the product until June, 2014, during which time it is expected that national, full registration will be completed.

"Access to several options for health management of livestock is important to all farmers," says veterinarian Diane Morrison, "so we are pleased with this authorization and look forward to receiving a provincial permit. Even though we will use it at 1/20 the mixture available at drugstores, we are now training our staff on safe handling procedures for Paramove 50™."

Marine Harvest Canada is British Columbia's leading aquaculture company and supplier of Sterling brand salmon.