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Thermolicer effectively treats sea lice with thermal technology

Published 22 Nov 2022 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read

Quick information

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At a glance

  • Drug-free lice treatment using thermal technology
  • Reduces pollution around fish pens
  • Combats lice that are resistant to drugs and chemicals

The Thermolicer is an environment-friendly and drug-free treatment system for sea lice.

Sea lice are one of the biggest challenges for fish farmers today.

Excessive use of chemicals to combat sea lice, moreover, has caused severe problems as lice are becoming drug-resistant. Continuous treatment also contributes to pollution around fish pens.

Chemical-free lice removal

Thermolicer is a simple and environment-friendly lice treatment that has proven to be more effective than traditional treatment methods with chemicals and medicine. The Thermolicer herds and pumps fish into a processing loop for 25 to 30 seconds. Here, the Thermolicer briefly bathes the fish in lukewarm seawater, which – because lice are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature – causes the lice to die and fall off the fish. Afterwards, the lice are collected and destroyed.


How it works:

  1. Fish enters Thermolicer
  2. Water separation
  3. Sea water filtered and released
  4. Fish exposed to lukewarm water
  5. Treatment loop
  6. Water surface
  7. Water separator for treatment water
  8. Fish exits the system
  9. Heated water circulated for filtration, aeration and reheating
  10. Treatment water pumped back to treatment loop

Concrete benefits

The Thermolicer can be used for treatment of fish on a commercial scale. The system only uses heated seawater to treat fish. This reduces pollution around fish pens and provides an alternative that can counteract increasing drug resistance in lice today. The Thermolicer fits on a boat or a barge, and each machine can treat up to 90 metric tons of fish per hour, depending on ambient sea temperature and local conditions. After the fish has been treated it can be sent back to the same pen or to an empty pen.

Market potential

Lice is an issue for fish farmers worldwide. A health report published by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in 2018 shows that heated water is a widespread method of non-medicinal lice treatment. The report shows that there was an increase of non-medicinal treatment of 21 per cent, with 68 per cent of that treatment being thermal delousing.

ScaleAQ is a world-leading technology supplier to the global aquaculture industry. The Thermolicer can be used by fish farmers in salmon-producing areas and service companies to the salmon industry worldwide.


Tore Laastad

Sales Manager

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Nordskag, 7266 KVERVA, Norway