How Feed Can Positively Impact Gill Health
- Gill health is extremely important for fish survival and welfare.
- Bad gill health means reduced ability to take up oxygen. and leads to poorer growth and welfare.
- Proper feed can reduce inflammation and help with the ability to repair tissue.
A fish’s gills are an important physical barrier against harmful microorganisms in the water. The fish's gills are, therefore, extremely important for survival and welfare. But maintaining healthy gills takes work.
The causes of gill problems are complicated and often involve several factors. It can be bacteria, viruses or parasites that infect the gills, but also algae or dirt from the nets. In addition, breeding and handling can damage the gills. If the fish experience problems with respiration and osmosis regulation, it increases susceptibility to disease and impaired performance.
It becomes critical for the fish if its gills do not work correctly. Inflammation and thickening of the gills reduce the ability to take up oxygen, which in addition to lower growth, harms fish health and welfare. Gill health is also crucial in fish farms, where gill problems are cited as the cause of reduced welfare, growth and, sometimes, increased mortality.
In addition, damaged gills make it riskier to treat the fish for lice. There are reports of gill bleeding, injuries and mortality, and lower appetite and growth in connection with lice treatments – there is no doubt that farmers must take gill health seriously.
How to Improve Gill Strength
The good news is that the gills have a unique ability to repair themselves, and an optimally composed lining can support this process. Proper feed, such as EWOS GILL, can reduce inflammation and help with tissue repair, enabling the maintenance of gill function. As a result, providing the fish with a feed that increases their gill strength has shown to reduce mortality and increase feed intake and growth in challenging environments such as algae blooms.
Interested in learning more about feed that promotes gill health? Check out the EWOS site. Learn more about how fish health and welfare supports sustainability by visiting the Cargill SeaFurther Sustainability website.