A New Brunswick aquaculture company which also operates in Newfoundland and Labrador has received $3.2 million in federal funding to develop a process to remove a type of parasite from farmed salmon.
The parasites, called sea lice, attach themselves to the bodies of both wild and farmed fish, feeding on their mucus and skin. Cooke Aquaculture is working to develop a device and process that uses warm water to remove sea lice from salmon, achieving a 95 per cent removal rate.
Officials say the new process will reduce sea lice-related losses and provide a green alternative to managing sea lice outbreaks.
Cooke estimates sea lice infestation in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador alone has cost industry more than $75 million over the last five years.
Ottawa says $3 million of the funding is conditionally repayable, while $247,000 is coming from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Cooke is also providing about $1.9 million towards the $5.1 million project.