Monitoring of lumpfish in cage - operation related services

The use of lumpfish as a biological measure to control sea lice has become an important tool in salmon farming. Good health and welfare is a prerequisite for the performance of lumpfish as lice eaters. In order to achieve this it is important with contributions from experts as well as preparation and close monitoring by the farmer.

Akvaplan-niva is driving targeted research and development on both the production of lumpfish in onshore facilities and the use of lumpfish in fish farming cages. The institute has assisted several companies that currently operate commercial lumpfish production and has ongoing projects for companies planning to use lumpfish as a cleaner fish.

Based on our experience and expertise, we offer consulting and operational services related to lumpfish during the sea phase. We work with breeders adopting a strategy and plan for keeping lumpfish with the intention of maintaining low levels of lice. Our contribution will be decided in collaboration with breeders and we tailor make each project to the needs of each company. We welcome an initial conversation with interested breeders about how we can contribute to maximize the effect from the use of lumpfish to control sea lice in salmon farming.

We provide the following services:




Quality control measurements (IK akva)

The preparation of operating procedures and risk assessments

Preparations for receiving lumpfish

In good time before deployment Akvaplan-niva and the breeders meet to review transport needs and what to prepare before receiving lumpfish.

Must be carried out early to ensure that all the equipment is in place before lumpfish is delivered.

The start-up meeting

Planning expose of fish, access to lumpfish, transport, delivery, blending%, recommendations on the choice of hide and feed. Feeding regimes. Defining intervals for net- cleaning. Detailed stocking plan, operational procedures etc.

A few days before delivery

Monitoring effect

Monitoring of feeding regime and effect on lice

Evaluated by site visits every 4 weeks


Follow-up on fish welfare and lice-action, how the hides work with respect to use and placement. Assessment of altered surface needs.

Evaluated by site visits every 4 weeks


Monitoring the lice situation and meddling-percent of lumpfish. Figures from lice-count are sent to Akvaplan-niva weekly in order to closely monitor the effect of lumpfish.

Evaluated by site visits every 4 weeks, and weekly review of lice

Mortality and health

Mortality figures for lumpfish are sent to Akvaplan-niva on a weekly basis. The health situation and following up measures will be considered with the local fish health personnel. Efficiency vs. size of roes. Minimum values for refills or the need for other measures.

Evaluated by site visits every 4 weeks, and weekly review of the mortality figures.


Follow-up of fouling on the nets and how lumpfish manage flushing/cleaning. Seasonal cleaning needs.

Evaluated by site visits every 4 weeks

Fish welfare courses

Courses that meet governmental requirements

Courses specially adapted for lumpfish


Akvaplan-niva in Action

 <span>Image by Lars Olav Sparboe, Akvaplan-niva</span>
Image by Lars Olav Sparboe, Akvaplan-niva

For More Information

Jonny Nikolaisen