Cleaner fish R&D at Memorial University of Newfoundland supports new industry

Demand for Cleaner Fish has now outstripped Newfoundland facility’s capacity for supply

Newfoundland’s emerging cleaner fish industry to control sea lice infestations in Atlantic Canada’s farmed salmon has direct links with ongoing genomic research on lumpfish and cunner at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Department of Ocean Sciences. Marbase Marystown Inc., also known as Marbase, the company building North America’s first lumpfish hatchery to anchor its aquaculture services hub at Marystown, N.L., acknowledges on its website the reason it settled on lumpfish, as its cleaner fish of choice. It was due in part, to “development work on lumpfish that has taken place at Memorial University’s Ocean Science Centre.” The OSC is home to North America’s leading cleaner fish R&D facility.

Getting cleaner fish ready for prime time (English)

Credit: Truefaux Films

Préparer le poisson nettoyeur à la commercialisation (Français)

Credit: Truefaux Films

“Basically, cleaner fish are another tool in the tool box for the industry,”

Paul Antle, Chairman and CEO of Marbase explained it this way: “Memorial University’s Ocean Science Centre has developed decades of data around lumpfish husbandry and is considered a critical library of research as we establish Canada’s first commercial lumpfish hatchery. The partnership between the OSC and Marbase is a key element of that commercialization program. Not only do we value the historical research, but the potential opportunities in further genomic research, as we grow out our facility and refine the genetic characteristics of the ideal lice-eating lumpfish.”

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