DAO 82:67-77 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01971

Control of freshwater fish louse Argulus coregoni: a step towards an integrated management strategy

Teija Hakalahti-Sirén1,*, Viktor N. Mikheev2, E. Tellervo Valtonen1

1Department of Biological and Environmental Science, PO Box 35 (ya), University of Jyväskylä, 40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
2A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology & Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 33 Leninskii Prospekt, 119071 Moscow, Russia

ABSTRACT: Harmful infections by ectoparasites of the genus Argulus occur repeatedly in freshwater fish farming operations where the management has largely been ineffective. Preventative methods and regular monitoring are rarely applied, so that chemical interventions become necessary. According to the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, a sustainable management or control program for a parasite should be based on knowledge of the ecology of the parasite along with adoption of several prevention and control methods, the application of which is dependent upon the prevailing infection level. The application of multiple management tactics is especially important because parasites can develop resistance to chemical treatments. We took a step towards sustainable management of Argulus populations and tested the effect of several types of treatments on survival of A. coregoni at different stages in its life cycle. Parasite juveniles and adults were highly sensitive to potassium permanganate treatments (0.01 g l–1), which lead to 100% mortality, whereas treatments with formalin (0.6 ml l–1), sodium chloride (20 g l–1) or malachite-green/formalin were not effective. Mechanical treatment by shaking infected fish in a hand net was an effective means of detaching parasites from the fish, and resulted in >80% decreases in parasite numbers. Compared to eggs in control treatments, both drying over a minimum period of 24 h and formalin treatments (120 ml l–1) led to significantly higher mortality of A. coregoni eggs. Other treatments, i.e. drying over a period of 15 h, baths in potassium permanganate (1 g l–1) or sodium chloride (50 g l–1), did not significantly affect the viability of eggs. Based on the present results and previously published papers, we present an initial framework showing how A. coregoni populations could be managed effectively.


KEY WORDS: Integrated pest management · IPM · Control · Prevention · Parasite · Argulus coregoni · Fish louse


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Cite this article as: Hakalahti-Sirén T, Mikheev VN, Valtonen ET (2008) Control of freshwater fish louse Argulus coregoni: a step towards an integrated management strategy. Dis Aquat Org 82:67-77. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01971

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