Leaving a site fallow at the end of a production cycle is a proven tool in fish health and sea lice management.
All production sites are fallowed before restocking with fish, as this method allows the seabed to rest and recover. Not only is this the sector's responsibility as users of a shared marine environment but it also ensure farmed salmon have a healthy environment in which to grow and thrive.
While the Code of Good Practice requires only a minimum of four weeks fallowing, the average for all sites containing fish is closer to 20 weeks.
To be effective, fallowing depends on length and appropriate separation between sites. It is used to control not only the level of sea lice, but also benthic conditions and spreading of fish disease.
Before the site is restocked with fish, pens, nets and other equipment are cleaned and disinfected in order to eliminate any bacteria.
In total, salmon farming is bound by regulations from nine different statutory bodies.