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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 1:137-146 (2010)  -  DOI:

Dynamics of outbreak and control of salmon lice on two salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia

Martin Krkošek1,4,*, Andrew Bateman2, Stan Proboszcz3, Craig Orr3

1School of Aquatic and Fishery Science, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105, USA
2Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
3Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Coquitlam, British Columbia V3K 3B7, Canada
4Present address: Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: Outbreaks of parasitic salmon lice Lepeoptheirus salmonis in sea-cage salmon farming regions of coastal seas have challenged the productivity of salmon farming industries and the conservation of wild salmon. We used a simple mathematical model to evaluate the population ecology of louse outbreaks, parasiticide treatment, and louse population decline for 2 farms in the Broughton Archipelago region of British Columbia, Canada. Results suggest that exponential population growth of lice within a farm, rather than sustained louse immigration from wild sources, drive outbreaks on farms. Model analysis indicates that louse infection pressure from farms to wild juvenile salmon may be minimized by parasiticide application 2 to 3 mo preceding the juvenile salmon outmigration. The observed timing of parasiticide use and population decline of lice on farms is consistent with reported declines of lice on wild juvenile salmon. If parasiticides do not have adverse environmental effects and lice do not evolve resistance, optimized parasiticide use on salmon farms may help reduce the spread of lice to wild salmon populations.

KEY WORDS: Aggregation · Aquaculture · Behaviour · Connectivity · Fisheries · Telemetry · Wild fish

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Cite this article as: Krkošek M, Bateman A, Proboszcz S, Orr C (2010) Dynamics of outbreak and control of salmon lice on two salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia. Aquacult Environ Interact 1:137-146.

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