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Statistics
2013 figures

Increased use of medicines in Norwegian fish farming

The increase in sales of agents to treat sea lice infestations continued in 2013. However, sales of antibacterials showed a reduction compared to the previous year. Sales of anthelmintics showed a slight increase compared to 2012. These figures come from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Continued problems with resistant lice

 
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Sales of agents against sea lice (in kilograms) have continued to increase since 2012. There was an increased use of all agents against lice except cypermethrin and azamethiphos. The biggest increase was for the chitin synthase inhibitors, diflubenzurone and teflubenzurone. In 2013, sales of agents against sea lice were at levels seen in the early 1990s.

Taking into account the different dosage of the various agents, the figures show that the number of sea lice treatments was approximately at the same level in 2012 and 2013.

The trend in 2013 suggests continued high level of drug resistance in Norwegian salmon. Reduction in azametiphos use may indicate lack of efficacy, as well as use in combination with other agents at lower dosages. Resistance to some agents against sea lice has resulted in increased sales of other agents. Use of sea lice treatment has been high since 2009.

In 2012, the use of hydrogen peroxide was somewhat reduced compared to the previous two years. However, consumption has more than tripled from 2012 to 2013.

Still marginal use of antibacterials

The sale of antibacterials for use in farmed fish in Norway varied in the period 2009-2013 (see table 1), but because sales are very low, small variations in the number of disease outbreaks are reflected in the statistics. In relation to the biomass of farmed fish produced, there are marginal changes in antibacterial sales, which are very low; the amount of antibacterials sold in recent years equates to approximately 0.5 to 1 per cent of the fish being treated with a course of antibiotics.

Anthelmintic sales increasing

Sales of medicines against intestinal worms have shown an annual decline since 2004, but increased for the first time from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, sales tripled compared to 2011. In 2013 we see a slight increase in sales compared with 2012.

Other agents

Consumption of the fungicide bronopol has been relatively stable in the period 2010-2012, but increased by 30 per cent in 2013.

Tables 1-5 show sales of antibacterials, sea lice treatment, anthelmintics, fungicides and anaesthetics used in Norwegian aquaculture in the period 2004-2013. The figures are based on sales from wholesalers and feed mills.

Table 1 Antibacterials (kg active ingredient)
  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

florfenicol 

 111

202 

302 

139 

166 

303 

287 

331 

191 

300 

flumequin

 4

28 

18 

lincomycin/
spectinomycin
(1:2)

 -

 -

 50

 66

 70

 43

 57

 0

 0

 0

oxolinic acid

 1035

 977

1119 

406 

681 

926 

308 

212 

1399 

672 

oxytetracycline

 5

 18

 0

 19

 23

 40

 10

 1

 1

 0

Total

 1159

1215 

1478 

 648

 941

1313 

662 

544 

1591 

972 

 
Table 2 Sea lice treatment (kg active ingredient)

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

azametiphos

-

-

-

-

66

1884

3346

2437

4059

3037

cypermethrin

55

45

49

30

32

88

107

48

232

211

deltamethrin

17

16

23

29

39

62

61

54

121

136

diflubenzurone

-

-

-

-

-

1413

1839

704

1611

3264

emamectine

32

39

60

73

81

41

22

105

36

51

teflubenzuron

-

-

-

-

-

2028

1080

26

751

1704

Total

104

100

132

132

218

5516

6454

3374

6810

8403

hydrogen-peroxide (ton)

-

-

-

-

-

308

3071

3144

2538

8262

Table 3 Anthelmintics (kg active ingredient)

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

fenbendazole

23

78

27

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

praziquantel

412

122

145

94

91

29

11

137

423

460

Total

435

200

172

95

91

29

11

137

423

460

Table 4 Fungicides (kg active ingredient)

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

bronopol

314

377

492

493

751

508

1020

1003

1090

1418

malachite green

0.7

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.6

0

0

0

0

0

Totalt

315

378

493

494

752

508

1020

1003

1090

1418

 

Table 5 Anaesthetics (kg active substance)

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

benzocaine1)

500

400

400

700

800

800

800

1000

800

1100

isoeugenol

2.6

-

6.8

5.2

26

34

68

96

134

323

tricaine mesilate (metacaine)

737

960

1248

1269

2164

2379

2815

3449

3481

4262

1) Estimated sales

Source: Wholesaler-based Drug Statistics, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 2014.

The information has been prepared in collaboration with:
Professor Kari Grave (kari.grave@nmbu.no) and Professor Tor Einar Horsberg (tor.e.horsberg@nmbu.no), NMBU Veterinary College, Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology.