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"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."

- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist


Marine Harvest's sea lice fight costs rise 32%

Marine Harvest saw the costs of fighting sea lice across its global operations rise in 2016, as Norway and Scotland in particular struggled with the pest. In Norway alone, the firm noted, "the exceptional cost related to sea lice mitigation amounted to ?78.5 million in 2016, compared to ?59.2m in 2015, an increase of 32.5%".

In Norway, "other seawater costs" per kilogram of fish harvested were 26% higher in 2016 due to "higher sea lice pressure contributing to an increased number of treatments, and the harvesting of fish at a lower average weight", the firm said inits 2016 annual report.

Scotland felt the impact of sea lice to an even greater degree, with "other seawater costs" per kg harvested rising by 36.8% compared to 2015.

This increase was again mainly due to costs associated with biological challenges, specified as increased sea lice treatment and mitigation costs. Marine Harvest did not break down the figures involved in sea lice mitigation for Scotland.

The company also revealed data showing that the percentage of farming sites which exceeded national sea lice "trigger levels" or lice limits - on an average monthly basis - rose in 2016.

"Disappointingly, several factors, including abnormally high water temperatures
for extended periods; insufficient cleaner fish capacity; limited access to non-medicinal
treatment systems; and extraordinary lice pressure, singly or in combination, precluded optimal control and hampered full application of our strategy in Scotland," wrote Marine Harvest. 

"The increase in losses associated with delousing interventions highlights the need to strengthen our efforts to further develop integrated approaches and optimize non-medicinal treatment systems," the company added.

Scotland had the worst showing, with the percentage of sites exceeding limits rising from 50% to 69%. Norway saw the number of sites double, from 4% to 8%.

Elsewhere the mitigation efforts led to a better result; in Ireland the number of sites exceeding national levels fell from 18% to 4%, in the Faroes they fell from 12% to 3%, and in Canada they fell from 25% to 13%. Across the group, the total sites exceeding sea lice limits rose from 14% to 15%.

Marine Harvest expectations for development in farming technologies in the near future.

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