Sea Lice Understanding a Result of Collaboration and Common Goal

April 17th, 2013 - Campbell River, B.C.

New research shows management of sea lice at BC salmon farms is meeting a precautionary approach to conserving wild salmon populations, say researchers.

The study - a continuation of the sea lice research that Marine Harvest Canada and the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform began in 2006 - includes researchers from conservation organizations, academia, aquaculture companies and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Seven years of shared data has shown that the timing of control of sea lice on farm-raised salmon effectively reduces the prevalence of the naturally occurring marine parasite on wild juvenile salmon in nearby areas. The study also confirms that temperature and salinity levels of the ocean are also important factors affecting the parasite’s natural abundance.

The study suggests that effective parasite management on BC salmon farms in the months prior to the outmigration of wild juvenile salmon can provide an effective and precautionary approach to conserving wild salmon populations.

Marine Harvest Canada is pleased to see positives results continue to stem from its initial efforts to bring together researchers from academia, industry, conservation and government.

More information on the study and the Broughton Archipelago Monitoring Program can be found here