According to the EU Regulation on Organic Aquaculture, the organic fish production must exclusively be based on organic fry. But breeding of organic rainbow trout is challenged by a range of pathogens; the parasite Costia (Ichthyobodo necator) can be mortal both for fry and young fish. Furthermore, a so-called Midichloria-like bacteria red mark syndrome (RMS) in big fish causes disposal of almost 30 % of the fish at slaughter.
Since the use of antibiotics is only allowed within very strict limits, the two pathogens are considered as a serious threat against a sufficient supply of organic fry for further production.
Therefore, it is crucial to find solutions for the prevention or treatment of Costia and RMS – not only to ensure a production of organic trout in Denmark, but also to strengthen the whole production of more robust organic fish.
The purpose of the Organic RDD-project ShelterFish is to develop new methods for treatment of some of the primary health problems in organic trout production. The goal is to create a more cost effective production that at the same time focuses on better animal welfare and reduced environmental impact.
The reduction of the parasite Costia and RMS together with a general improvement of welfare and water quality will result in a more robust trout production.
ShelterFish can help increase the credibility of organic trout production in accordance with the organic principles of a balance between environment, ethics and economics. The knowledge gained in the project can contribute to raise the standard in organic trout production, so that the methods more than meet the applicable rules for organic aquaculture.