According to Store Norske Leksikon cleaner fish are; fish used in fish farming to fight salmon lice. Fish species included in this category are lumpfish and wrasse.
Cleaner fish have been used as a preventative method against salmon lice, and is used by large parts of the aquaculture industry today. Artifish believes biological delicing with cleaner fish can also be the solution to the lice problem. The use of cleaner fish is a more natural solution than for example the use of chemicals, which is an often used method in the fight against salmon lice today. The cleaner fish eats lice directly from the salmon without creating any damages to the salmon.
Unfortunately, cleaner fish does not have any natural conditions to actually eating lice, and thus the method is also not optimal. In addition, there is a significant size difference between cleaner fish such as lumpfish and wrasse, and farmed salmon. The salmon therefore seems daunting to the cleaner fish, which increases the stress level, and leads to inefficiency of the lice eating.
Today, it is under 40 % of all cleaner fish that eat lice during their life cycle in the fish farms.
(Below are 3 illustrations of cleaner fish. The first 2 are of the species lumpfish, the last one is a wrasse)