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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 13:505-513 (2021)  -  DOI:

Genetic evidence of farmed straying and introgression in Swedish wild salmon populations

Stefan Palm1,*, Sten Karlsson2, Ola H. Diserud2

1Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources, Institute of Freshwater Research, Stångholmsvägen 2, 178 93 Drottningholm, Sweden
2Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), PO Box 5685 Torgarden, 7485 Trondheim, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Escaped farmed Atlantic salmon represent a well-documented and ongoing threat to wild conspecific populations. In Norway, the world-leading producer of farmed salmon, annual monitoring of straying and genetic introgression by farmed escapees in wild salmon rivers has been carried out since the late 1980s. In this study, we applied molecular and statistical methods routinely used in the Norwegian monitoring programme to investigate the magnitude of escaped farmed salmon and genetic introgression in salmon rivers on the west coast of Sweden, where suspected escapees have been observed. Our results confirm that escaped farmed salmon stray, successfully spawn, and produce offspring at levels similar to those observed in neighbouring Norway. These findings raise concerns over population productivity and long-term viability and highlight the need for more permanent monitoring of the presence and consequences of escaped farmed salmon in Swedish salmon rivers. Our results further illustrate that farmed gene flow may constitute a transboundary problem with potential international implications.

KEY WORDS: Gene flow · Aquaculture · Atlantic salmon · Salmo salar · Single nucleotide polymorphisms · SNPs

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Cite this article as: Palm S, Karlsson S, Diserud OH (2021) Genetic evidence of farmed straying and introgression in Swedish wild salmon populations. Aquacult Environ Interact 13:505-513.

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