The relative impacts of Lepeophtheirus salmonis on natural and hatchery stocks of juvenile pink salmon
Health management of cultured salmon in B.C. includes scheduled monitoring of the numbers of parasitic sea lice, including Lepeophtheirus salmonis. Farmed stock is treated if sea lice infestations exceed a threshold defined in the Provincial Sea Lice Action Plan. Although infestations of farmed Atlantic salmon persist, associated disease has been virtually absent in B.C. and the parasite is considered a nuisance. There is a concern however, that L. salmonis contributes to a significant incremental mortality within populations of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) that migrate through the Broughton Archipelago (BA). Because there is very little information on the abundance and distribution of wild salmonid hosts in the BA particularly in the winter months, farmed Atlantic salmon continue to be implicated as the most abundant hosts. Regardless of the source of the infestations, there is no consensus regarding individual or population level impacts of L. salmonis infestations on juvenile pink salmon.
This project will attempt to determine the effect of host size on the susceptibility, survival and the inflammatory responses of hatchery reared juvenile pink salmon to infestation with L. salmonis and compare survival of wild-caught and hatchery pink salmon juveniles following exposure to L. salmonis.
2007 - 2008
Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast
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