Salmon farmers to explore health benefits of ultrasound

A research project is to the potential for ultrasound to keep farmed salmon healthy and increase harvest volumes.

The SAIC-funded study will examine the potential benefits of ultrasound in salmon farming. Picture: Contributed

Although exports of Scottish salmon fell to £385.9 million last year, from £494m in 2014, the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) – which is funding the study with a £39,467 grant – said demand continues to outstrip supply.

If it proves successful, the SAIC said that the six-month project – which brings together academics from the University of Dundee and the Institute of Aquaculture at University of Stirling with Inverness-based industry partner Pulcea, a specialist in physics and biological science – could see harvest volumes increase.

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SAIC chief executive Heather Jones said: “A key requirement for increasing the supply of Scottish farmed salmon is keeping fish healthy at each stage of the production lifecycle.

“By exploring ultrasound as an additional means of managing fish health and welfare, this innovative project has the potential to help salmon producers increase stocks and better meet consumer demand.”

Dr Paul Campbell of the University of Dundee added: “We’re taking a technique that’s proven successful in human medicine and we’re carefully re-engineering it to explore its effectiveness in advancing fish health.”