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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI - Vol. 6 - Feature article
Salmon farms outside the National Salmon Fjord in Hardanger, Norway. Inset: adult female salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis. Photo: Rune Nilsen

Serra-Llinares RM, Bjørn PA, Finstad B, Nilsen R, Harbitz A, Berg M, Asplin L


Salmon lice infection on wild salmonids in marine protected areas: an evaluation of the Norwegian ‘National Salmon Fjords’


The spread of salmon lice from fish farms may pose a threat to wild fish, and most salmon producing countries have taken steps to protect important populations of wild salmonids. Area protection is one of the key strategies adopted in Norway through the establishment of ‘National Salmon Fjord’. The effect of these areas, where aquaculture practices are restricted, is evaluated in this study. Results indicate that the capacities of the smallest fjords of withstanding lice infection from fish farms are limited, suggesting that the establishment of larger protected areas may contribute best to the protection of wild salmonids. However, the development of accurate models for the dispersion of planktonic lice larvae is needed in order to establish more precise management practices.


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