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Genomic baseline for the quantification of indirect genetic impacts of triploid Atlantic salmon aquaculture in Placentia Bay Newfoundland



In 2013, DFO Science evaluated the potential effects of domesticated Norwegian Atlantic salmon on wild Atlantic salmon in Newfoundland and recommended the production of all-female sterile triploids to reduce the likelihood of direct genetic effects on wild fish populations. In 2016, an aquaculture expansion in Placentia Bay was approved, involving the production of 7 million triploid Norwegian salmon annually. The use of triploid all-female salmon is expected to reduce direct genetic interactions, although the actual magnitude of direct and indirect genetic interactions remains unknown. This project will develop genomic baseline data to allow future resolution of any direct and indirect genetic impacts. Additionally, this project will develop genomic tools for the identification of escapee Norwegian salmon and hybrids; the genome wide characterization of diversity to allow quantification of changes in wild populations due to changes in the selective landscape (i.e. disease, parasite, competition); and finally the estimation of effective population size of wild populations in Placentia Bay to allow declines in wild population size to be quantified in future. The baseline genomic data produced here will provide unprecedented resolution of direct and indirect genetic impacts due to aquaculture expansion introduced in Placentia Bay and better inform aquaculture management and risk mitigation measures.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Ecosystems Interactions (AEI)



Principal investigator

Ian Bradbury
Research scientist, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, St. John’s, NL

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