Quantifying direct genetic impacts of escaped farmed salmon on wild salmon in Atlantic Canada



Aquaculture escapes are a threat to the persistence and stability of wild salmon populations, with impacts occurring through both genetic and ecological interactions. The goal of this study is to quantify the presence and magnitude of direct genetic impacts that escaped farmed salmon have on wild salmon populations in order to inform management decisions and advise on mitigation strategies. Specifically, this study addresses three objectives:

  1. to quantify the magnitude of low level chronic escapes through an annual targeted survey;
  2. to quantify annual variation in hybridization among wild and farm escaped Atlantic salmon; and
  3. to evaluate at sea survival of hybrids in Newfoundland

Identifying risks and potential mitigation strategies associated with Atlantic salmon aquaculture escapees is critical both to the continued growth of the aquaculture industry and to the successful conservation of wild salmon populations. The results of this study will allow us, for the first time, to quantify the extent of genetic impacts from farm escaped Atlantic salmon on wild populations over time and in different areas in Atlantic Canada.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)


2016 - 2019


Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves

Principal Investigator

Ian Bradbury
Research Scientist, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre
Email: Ian.Bradbury@dfo-mpo.gc.ca