Gill Disease and EMFs

Iceland Fish Farm: Gill Disease and EMFs

Narrative persons:

Dr. Júlíus B. Kristinsson
Prev. General manager at Silfurlax hf.
Tel. 565-1084
Fax 555-1093

Jón Reynir Andrésson
Station manager in Silfurlax hf.
Tel. 483-4494

Date of account: 29. July 1996.

Silfurlax hf was working in the field of raising juvenile Atlantic salmon from 1985 until 1995. In 1986 the company started to farm salmon (from eggs up to juvenile size) in the fish farm at Núpar III in Ölfushreppur, Árnessýslu in Iceland. More than 1.5 million eggs were hatched each year in the farm. The farm is very modern (high-tech) and heavily equipped with electrical appliances. We had an outbreak of gill disease in each year-class of juvenile salmon right from the beginning. The mortality caused by the disease was very high i.e. we lost between 30 and 87% of our juvenile salmon (see the histograph).

The clinical picture of the gill disease involves enlarged cells and increased number of cells (hypertrophy and hyperplacia) in the gills. The surface of healthy gills is both large and very thin to allow both oxygen and ion transport. As the disease develops this large, thin surface decreases and becomes thicker and in the end it reaches a stage when the secondary lamellae fuse and hence the surface for oxygen and ion transport has decreased dramatically. This causes high mortality. The gills of the surviving juvenile salmon does recover and in most cases they do not suffer from gill disease again. Many different agents can cause a gill disease, i.e. parasites and bacteria. Treatment against those pathogens is available.

However the causative agent of the gill disease at Núpar III was unknown. Experts in fish diseases, both in Iceland as well as from abroad, had tried to solve the problem without success. By standardising the use of formaldehyde the mortality were lowered to about 30 %, probably mainly due to the effect which the chemical has on the single cell parasite Costa which often came as a secondary infection. Although being an improvement, he formaldehyde treatment was insufficient as a solution to the problem.

In autumn 1994 we asked Brynjólfur Snorrason at Höndin if he could assist us to solve the problem. After he had measured the electric fields, electromagnetic fields and the earth energy fields in the farm he recommended certain changes in the electrical system and that the earth connection of the farm should be increased. Those changes were made in steps during the time period from autumn 1994 until January 1995. They did also install in the farm an equipment specially designed to neutralise electromagnetic fields. As soon as the first changes had been done the number of outbreaks of gill disease decreased dramatically. When all the changes (which had been recommended) had been done the gill disease did only occur as an exception in some tanks concurrently to measurable electromagnetic fields that were accidentally reoccurring in the farm due to some changes in the electrical system.

People of Höndin with collaborating scientists started an experiment in the farm in mars 1996. Electromagnetic fields were made by installing some electrical equipment just above some of the tanks. A gill disease outbreak was documented in all those tanks and also in all the fish tanks that were close by. The disease did not occur in other tanks in the same building but those juvenile salmon were slightly older. Further research is contemplated.

From our experience we see electric fields, electromagnetic fields, and earth energy fields as the primary reason for the gill disease.

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