Faroese legislation dictates that all aquaculture installations must perform lice counts once every fortnight, at least. As an independent body, Fiskaaling provides this service. Ten salmons are taken from each cage for inspection where lice are counted, recorded and classified in accordance with species and degree of maturity.
Public records for mature salmon lice may be viewed on the Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority homepage.
Classification of Lice
It is difficult to classify small lice. To determine if small lice are salmon lice or saithe lice, Fiskaaling uses PCR technology in our laboratory facilities at iNOVA.
Good gills are a prerequisite for well-being. Fiskaaling performs gill studies to determine the state of the gills. The gills are classified in accordance with the general condition, e.g. regarding damage, deformities or AGD (Amoebic Gill Disease).
Thriving lumpfish eat lice. Fiskaaling studies lumpfish in order to determine the well-being of lumpfish, that are used for absorbing lice in salmon cages. The studies reveal whether the lumpfish are adequately fed, if the conditions in the cages are satisfying for lumpfish, and how many lice they eat. Then, there is room for making improvements that may increase the well-being of the lumpfish.