Long before the problem of sea lice started grabbing the headlines, Norwegian researchers and industrial interests pointed out that efforts to contain the parasite would have to be intensified.
In response, the HAVBRUK programme, the FHF and private enterprise have been funding sea lice research for years. Now, the hard work of researchers is beginning to yield more and more knowledge about how to combat the costly pest.
The latest issue of the HAVBRUK newsletter (no. 1/2012) presents a selection of projects that demonstrate the scientific breadth and scale of resources invested in the fight against sea lice.
Half a billion in funding for sea lice research
As of 2011, nearly NOK 500 million worth of research and development projects to combat sea lice have been initiated for the ten-year period leading up to 2018.
The aquaculture industry has provided close to 60 per cent of the investment in these R&D activities, with another 13 per cent coming from the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF). Public funding from the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and the regional research funds comprises the remaining roughly 30 per cent of the overall funding.
Sea lice - a costly pest for the aquaculture industry.
Major investment of resources
The Research Council's total contribution will amount to NOK 117 million, with a significant portion of this allocated to the newly established Sea Lice Research Centre (SLRC), which has been granted status as a Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI).
The knowledge platform PrevenT (Salmon louse - prevention and treatment), co-funded by the Research Council and the FHF, is the second largest project, with a total budget of NOK 18 million over four years.
In 2011, the Research Council provided a total of NOK 16 million towards research on sea lice.
The following articles from the HAVBRUK newsletter are available in English on the HAVBRUK website: