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Advancing environmental stewardship in aquaculture

Sustainability challenges in aquaculture are driving the need for innovation and sophisticated solutions.

Ensuring positive co-existence within the marine environment is a key objective for the salmon farming industry. Disease control, fish welfare and environmental impact have been areas of intensified focus and investment.

Benchmark is focused on solving or mitigating these challenges for the industry. One such challenge resulting from common industry practice is around the use of medicinal bath treatments to remove lice from fish. After fish have been treated, post-treatment water including some of the lice is typically released into the ocean.

CleanTreat®: a system capable of transforming landscape for medicinal bath treatments

The team at Benchmark recognised there was a need to improve this process by removing sea lice medicine from treatment water so that the medicinal residue does not enter the environment. This innovative idea became CleanTreat®, a system that is designed to eliminate medicine residues and reduce environmental impact in the salmon farming industry. As well as removing the medicine, CleanTreat® collects and removes the organic material from the treatment water, preventing treated lice returning to the environment. Not only is this beneficial for the environment but it helps protect against parasitic resistance to medicine.

CleanTreat® process

Before the CleanTreat® water purification process begins, the medicinal bath treatment is administered to fish within a large closed system, such as a well-boat. Once treatment is completed and the fish are free of sea lice, the fish are rinsed and released back into their ocean pens.

The treatment and rinse water, retained in the closed system, is then transferred onto Benchmark’s CleanTreat® vessel. The process then begins by removing the organic material including treated sea lice, an essential step in combating parasitic resistance to medicine. Next the medicine is removed from the treatment water for safe release back to the ocean. The purified water is monitored throughout the process by the on-board chemists to confirm the medicine has been removed before the release back to the ocean.

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