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The lethal and sublethal effects of anti-sea lice therapeutants on marine benthic and pelagic invertebrates


In recent years, the aquaculture industry has become a major contributor to the Canadian economy and is of particular importance to coastal communities on the east and west coasts. As with other salmon producing countries around the world, Canada’s salmon aquaculture industry relies on the strategic use of chemotherapeutantFootnote 1 treatments to control parasitic sea lice. While these chemotherapeutants have been assessed and approved for use by Health Canada, it is important to continue improving our understanding of how these anti-parasite chemicals interact with the marine environment. Predicting the persistence and toxicity of these chemicals to non-target organisms can be a challenge and is important to validate our perception as to how they interact with the marine environment.

Building on currently funded work, this study will focus on improving our understanding of the lethal and sublethal toxicity of anti-parasitic chemicals to non-target pelagicFootnote 2 and benthicFootnote 3 marine organisms on the Pacific coast. The first part of the study will determine the lethal and sublethal effects on reproduction and development in the pelagic stages of sea urchins and blue mussels in both adults (fertilization) and larval stages (development) using Salmosan® and Paramove 50®. The second part of the study will examine the sublethal toxicity of ivermectin, SLICE® and a combination of both to sediment-dwelling amphipods and polychaete species. Data gathered from this research will help inform decisions regarding the safe use and appropriate regulation of aquaculture chemotherapeutants in Canada.

Program Name

National Contaminants Advisory Group (NCAG)


2017 - 2018


Pacific Coast: Strait of Georgia, Southern Shelf, Northern Shelf

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Chris Kennedy
Professor, Aquatic Toxicology, Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University

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