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Impact Spotlight

Addressing Freshwater Fungal Infection in Production




  • Saprolegnia is a freshwater fungus that can lead to considerable losses for returning wild Atlantic salmon and the aquaculture industry in freshwater environments.

  • Huntsman Marine often works with local start-ups and small companies to validate novel technologies that often disrupt activities in the ocean economy.

  • We offer our developed methods and challenge models as a service through professional Contract Research Organization activities across our aquatic research expertise and extensive facilities.

Downloadable Poster


Our research teammates developed a repeatable Saprolegnia challenge model at sufficient scale to infect hundreds of fish together in a single tank with the ability to reliably infect multiple tanks over successive days to complete a large study. In doing so, this challenge model allowed Huntsman Marine scientists to be the first ever to describe resistance to Saprolegnia infection as a heritable trait across many Atlantic salmon families (Resistance to Saprolegnia parasitica infection: A heritable trait in Atlantic salmon: for the open access publication). The study also proposed a new 11-point scoring system to study Saprolegnia skin lesions and compare groups when mortality is not the scientific endpoint.

Our Saprolegnia challenge model, coupled with Huntsman Marine toxicology exposure models to assess target animal safety, provides an incredible capacity to collect required regulatory datasets for biotechnology companies as they develop new Saprolegnia treatment options for application in the freshwater fish farming sector that are not toxic or carcinogenic. This was the case for Prince Edward Island (Canada) based RPS Biologiques Inc. as the company gained Health Canada approval for use of their novel product - Supratect™ – formulated with natural ingredients:


  • In 2014, RPS Biologiques Inc. engaged Huntsman Marine to complete a series of effectiveness tests of their product to control growth of the freshwater fungus – Saprolegnia.


  • In 2016, they engaged Huntsman Marine as a next step to complete a target animal safety study using their refined product on Atlantic salmon eggs and fry.


  • In 2018, RPS Biologiques Inc. further refined its product to register both a liquid and powder formulation after Huntsman Marine completed more effectiveness tests on the new dehydrated product.



  • Supratect™ has also proven quite effective at maintaining optimal rearing conditions within home aquarium tanks. The product is now widely available from online and pet store vendors for purchase – including at the Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium Eco-Market given that it is a natural product.


Aspects of research described in this Huntsman Marine Science Centre Impact Spotlight were funded by private sector Study Sponsors, the National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.


Reach out to The Huntsman Marine Science Centre if you have any questions:


Toxicology research 
at Huntsman Marine


General inquiries related to Huntsman Marine research capacity

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Aquatic health research at Huntsman Marine


Broodstock research
at Huntsman Marine

Explore more Huntsman Marine Impact Spotlights here!

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