Here is a letter from Alan, (not real name) but some music for this blog.
My understanding is that light intensity and day length is the main driver in achieving our goal. Provided light intensity of artificial light is adequate, increased day length acts on the pituitary gland to shift endocrine activity from production of maturing hormone to growth hormone, giving a farmer a double benefit by reducing lost growth from maturing fish and increase growth hormone production and hopefully better growth FCR etc.
I don’t know of any work that shows how different light spectrums affect fish behaviour. It is not to say that there isn’t or that there is no benefit, but I think this would need to be looked at in tank based trials to remove any chances of a costly problem in a sea cage. Our cages hold up to 200,000kg of fish so not much of an effect is required to cost a lot of money in lost production. It is probably a logical extension to our work so I will get our R&D team to see if they can find any information on affects of light spectrum and how these might be used to benefit production. If they could be used somehow to remove skin flukes we would have a million dollar gain. Unfortunately it could also increase as well which is not so good!
Thanks for sharing the information. It is interesting how the extended light shifts the endocrine activity & makes common sense in that the pituitary gland that controls our body, fish body`s & systems within & a trigger for chemical balance & systems balance. A holistic approach suggests if the hormones produced control, growth, metabolism, temperature regulation, pain relief, the blood system etc then light is beneficial for wellbeing & keeping the systems in balance. The loss of natural sunlight in winter drives me crazy haha but no haha...
Natural light being made up of many colours & non visible waves the quest to find out what parts of the spectrum are more beneficial to you as a farmer. 15 years ago I had a Bioptron that is used in the medical field for treating different problems. Its used in European hospitals for treating many conditions including skin problems, burns, glandular systems & internal organs. Basically its a special light with filters to produce specific light frequency's. There is an interesting read the other day about how blue light is used to treat jaundice in newborns. http://light2015blog.org/2014/08/29/healing-power-blue-light-cures-neonatal-jaundice/
More about the International Year of Light & interesting blogs can be found here if you are interested http://www.light2015.org/Home.html Its a very interesting field of science that I love to learn about. Light is life for all creatures great & small, bacteria except for those fish that live in the dark. How do they do that?
The flukes I believe are likened to cancer in humans. We all have cancers or rouge cells in our body but when out system gets out of balance its natures way to attack & kill the weak. Flukes in fish are always present & lay dormant until conditions change either by stress, overcrowding, water quality, food quality etc. Happy goldfish I have now but I did try & do silver perch for many years. It was quite successful & good growth rates until hot summer heat waves heated the water just too much for them. Even big ice blocks wasn't not enough to save them anyway that's digressing from flukes but it all comes down to the happiness & that too is the endocrine of the pituitary gland or hippocampus. Then that gland affects the other glands. Each gland then plays a specific role, growth, sexual activity, appetite, processing of fats, transfer into amino acids & conversion to energy ratio or metabolic take-up.
The flukes are natures way to weed out & feed on the week or unhappy. This is natures way of creating a stronger genome program. One that can adapt better in a stressful or pressured environment. Sunning myself on a winters day is always good self healing for me. We all know what we need if we are prepared to listen to our systems so I believe fish who have brains, maybe small & a lot less consciousness than humans remember or maybe they just act on their instinct or endocrine. Maybe because a fish has less consciousness it will be more likely to just do what it needs to do in order to survive, grow & reproduce a stronger more resilient or adapting genome for the environmental conditions.
Could certain parts of the light spectrum or colours be beneficial to you as an aquaculture farmer? Colour therapy has been known about for a long time & we are only now just starting to learn more about how it affects healthy life & systems balance. Could a fish give itself colour therapy by getting more of one part of the light spectrum if it had the choice? Would it be a choice or would it be an extinctive reaction to a system or body stress for the less aware or conscious fish? Sometimes we follow a path in belief. We don't know where it will lead but it feels like its the right path to walk.
It would be interesting to see the reaction of fluke affected stock if you could do it in a lab environment. Would the fish be attracted to administer self healing by self selecting a certain light spectrum range or colour if they had the option. I am of the belief treat the cause & not the symptom so treating fluke affected stock would be a waste of energy. Prevention of fluke infestation is more worthwhile economically for you as a farmer & dealing with a finely balanced stock rate the only way of knowing if the different light spectrums will help is if the fish have the freedom to self administer. That would be hard to do in a lab environment where it is different to the ocean cages & there would be other factors such as water quality involved etc. Happy fish in ocean cages will help to increase production with less fluke infected stock. Less stress, less flukes, more extended daylight hours, hippocampus & happy campers fish.
More dawn or dusk light, the reds, yellows & warm colours, a time to watch the sunrise or set & take a moment to relax & centre, plan or reflect, action & completion. The cool colours that calm our being in day to day light & sky. Central colours of green & natures canvas to feed, heal & life, food & flavour. Light is not bam here it is in nature. It balances even with the rays we can not see in the human light spectrum like higher infra red & UV levels as the sun rises overhead. Its been a balanced system of here you need some of this wave & you need a bit of that wave. As evolution is always changing, creating the optimum environment from a farming perspective is a science in itself.
I wish you luck in creating that optimum environment & thank you once again for sharing your knowledge & experience. I am sure the stock will benefit from your current trial & look forward to working with you in the future.
Team EIS signing off for now & looking through a round window of light...