Biofouling communities on Atlantic salmon farm nets: exploring links to fish gill health
Gill disorders are a major challenge for marine salmonid farming worldwide, resulting in significant economic costs through management efforts and production losses. There are many potential causes of gill disorders including viruses, bacteria, parasites, phytoplankton/zooplankton species, and biofouling species attached to farm net pens and ropes. Biofouling organisms attached to nets are broken up into small pieces by high-pressure net washers and released into the water column, providing a potential irritant to fish gills. Recent research has found that hydrozoans, often found in fouling communities, can have detrimental effects on sea bass, sea bream, and Atlantic salmon gills.
The primary objective of this project is to assess the role of biofouling species as potential contributors to gill disorders in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) at fish farm sites. In doing so the project will identify how gill disorders correlate with biofouling species, biofouling abundance, and various environmental conditions by monitoring environmental parameters, fish health, and biofouling assemblages at multiple fish farm sites around Vancouver Island.
Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)
One year: 2019-2020
Chris Pearce, research scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Pacific Region
Steve Cross, associate professor, University of Victoria
Mark Flaherty, professor, University of Victoria
Simon Jones, research scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Pacific Region
Lyanne Curtis, research biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Pacific Region
Raquel Greiter Loerzer, MSc student, University of Victoria/Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Bogdan Vornicu, Environmental Monitoring Manager, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.
Liam Peck, Environmental Monitoring Specialist, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.
Tim Hewison, Fish Health and Research and Development Manager, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.
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