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Effects of inshore and within-cage hypoxia on Atlantic salmon



The goal of this project is to determine how reduced oxygen (natural and culture-induced inshore hypoxia) affects Atlantic salmon growth and immune system function.

The objectives required to achieve this goal are:

  1. To grow Atlantic salmon post-smolts and older pre-market salmon in the laboratory under reduced oxygen conditions to quantify the effects of hypoxia on growth and metabolic systems (incl. protein and lipid production and quality) over 90 days, simulating farming conditions by controlling for all remaining environmental parameters, stock density and stress.
  2. To challenge Atlantic salmon post-smolts and older pre-market salmon to ISAv under reduced oxygen tensions. The non-specific and specific immune systems will be examined simultaneously to establish how metabolic stress, induced by hypoxia affects disease resistance and immune physiology. The experiment will also establish vaccine efficacy while the fish is grown under environmental stress. Experiments will be controlled for all environmental conditions.
  3. To develop a critical oxygen limit as a performance-based standard, which would maximize the health and productivity of farmed fish and limit the impact on the proximal environment (wild fish health, inshore hypoxia). This would be the first PBS that would promote the welfare of farmed salmon.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2009 - 2012


Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Brian Glebe

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