In aquaculture like with any kind of farming, the risk of infection and disease is ever present. Fish farmers do their best to prevent fish becoming sick or affected by parasites. Alastair Smart, Solvay’s Global Business Manager in Aquaculture, shares more on how Solvay is helping the aquaculture industry keep its fish population healthy.
What is the state of the aquaculture market today, and how is Solvay involved?
Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing industries in food production, and has been so for the last 30 years. Solvay has contributed to the well-being of fish – and the humans who consume them – by providing hydrogen peroxide as a solution for parasite control. Salmon in particular are a victim of sea lice and amoebic gill disease, parasites that affect fish health and restrict growth.
What are the advantages of hydrogen peroxide for aquaculture?
The world is made up of many simple and complex chemicals. The great feature of hydrogen peroxide is that it is a very simple molecule. It is essentially water (H2O), with an extra oxygen molecule (O): H2O2 – known as “oxygenated water” in many languages – and is therefore very environmentally friendly, breaking down into water and oxygen. It is naturally present in breast milk and colostrum, rainwater, fresh fruit and the human body. It can be used as a cleaning agent or a disinfectant, as well as to remove sea lice and amoeba parasites on salmon and other fish.
When used in parasite control, hydrogen peroxide is a veterinary medicinal product, so it has to be registered and monitored. The methodology of application has come a long way and our partner, Aqua Pharma, has developed sophisticated dosing systems enabling safe, and efficient treatments. As a bonus, due to its cleaning properties, the cages and nets are also cleaned in the process – removing any other parasites and pathogens situated there.
What is the future of this market for Solvay?
Solvay’s involvement in the aquaculture industry is long-term. The industry is healthy and moving towards sustainable and transparent solutions. Solvay supports ASC, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization that certifies sustainable farms and encourages retailers and consumers to buy ASC-labelled products. ASC considers H2O2 to be one of the recommended treatment options with unlimited treatments allowed, and zero withholding time: it can be used immediately before harvesting.
Finally, Solvay is foraying into other dimensions of the aquaculture industry as well. Shrimp farming, for example, which usually happens in ponds, utilises the oxidising power of “oxygenated water” to provide more oxygen for the shrimp, in addition to managing bacterial and viral pathogens.