Monitoring and modelling of sea lice interaction with wild and farm salmon in the Broughton Archipelago

P-12-01-006

Description

The interaction of sea lice with farmed salmon and wild salmon has been the focus of international concern for at least a decade. Health and growth performance issues associated with sea lice infestations continue to be a significant concern for the salmon farming industry globally, driving the implementation of preventative measures in areas where there is the threat of infestation. Since 2003 British Columbia salmon farming industry had been monitoring and reporting sea lice information to government authorities as part of a broader program known as the Provincial Sea Lice Management Strategy, and more recently, in accordance with licensing conditions. In addition to regular monitoring, treatment trigger levels were established in 2003 which are comparable to other international jurisdictions. Concurrently with this management strategy, ten years of intensive research evaluating the effects of farmed-derived lice on wild salmon have resulted in a substantial improvement of our knowledge of sea lice biology (genetics, life history, distribution, abundances, and tolerances) and of the susceptibility and resistance of salmonids to lice. This project will develop a predictive model of the distribution of sea lice originating from fish farms and estimate the number of encounters of out-migrating salmon with sea lice. It will also establish statistically robust models that capture associations between the sea lice burden on wild fish and conditions on BC fish farms. Finally, the project will monitor the presence of sea lice during the 2012 out-migration of juvenile salmon.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)

Year(s)

2012 - 2014

Ecoregion(s)

Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Peter Chandler
Email: Peter.Chandler@dfo-mpo.gc.ca