Citation Shinn A, Picon-Camacho SM, Bawden R & Taylor NGH (2009) Mechanical control of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis Fouquet, 1876 (Ciliophora) in a rainbow trout hatchery. Aquacultural Engineering, 41 (3), pp. 152-157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaeng.2009.07.002
Abstract Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, more commonly known as 'white spot' is recognised as one of the most pathogenic diseases of wild and cultured freshwater fish. In trout hatchery systems infections can quickly establish and result in high mortality if left unregulated. Current control centres around the use of regular bath treatments with formalin, however, treatments are not always effective and are labour intensive. Environmentally safe, non-chemical alternatives are required. This paper describes the performance of a mechanical system developed to remove cysts from commercial trout raceways. The system consists of two parts: a specially designed suction head connected to a pump that is used to vacuum the bottom of hatchery raceways, and a low-adhesion polymer raceway lining. Following tests on a series of potential linings, the most efficacious product in preventing settlement of cysts was used to line three raceways in a commercial rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hatchery. Over a period of three months, lined raceways were vacuumed on a daily basis. The three control raceways were maintained according to the farms normal husbandry procedures. Approximately thirty fish were sampled from each raceway at fortnightly intervals, and the abundance of the parasite in each raceway determined. The mechanical system led to a significant reduction in the abundance of the parasite in the test raceways, with a mean abundance of 361.88 +/- 260.75 parasites per fish in control raceways compared with 1.64 +/- 1.59 parasites per fish in the test raceways at the peak of the infection. Additionally fish survival was significantly higher in test raceways over control, with a mean of 84.5% of the stock surviving in the test raceways compared with only 70.6% in the controls by trial end.