The personality of lumpfish and how this affects their use as cleaner fish

Project Details

Layman's description

Lumpfish are used in salmon farming as they are known to consume salmon lice. However, not all lumpfish are predators of salmon lice, and when monitoring fish in the farms, the proportion of lumpfish that have consumed lice can vary between 0% and 50%. This project aims to describe lumpfish behavioural traits, and potentially classify lumpfish into personality types. The ambition is to use this new knowledge of how lumpfish behaviour varies between individuals to establish which lumpfish are more likely to consume lice. If this aim is achieved, it might become possible to sort lumpfish and therefore only deploy cleaners into salmon farms, or -even better, as behaviour is sometimes hereditary - breed lumpfish that display cleaning personalities.

Key findings

There appear to be stable differences in activity levels between different lumpfish, but unfortunately, these do not correspond to whether the lumpfish are likely to consume salmon lice.

Other findings related to this project include best practice for milt preservation in relation to lumpfish breeding and the effects of different rearing and housing conditions on lumpfish behaviour and welfare
Short titlePersonality of lumpfish
Effective start/end date1/06/141/01/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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