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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI - Vol. 7 - Feature article
Variation in salmon lice levels on wild salmonids have been monitored along the entire Norwegian coast. Photo: Bengt Finstad. Map: Ingeborg P. Helland

Helland IP, Uglem I, Jansen PA, Diserud OH, Bjørn PA, Finstad B


Statistical and ecological challenges of monitoring parasitic salmon lice infestations in wild salmonid fish stocks


The massive increase of farmed salmonids has raised growing concerns regarding the transmission of salmon lice from farmed to wild salmonids. In Norway, salmon lice infestations on wild salmonid fish have therefore been monitored since 1992. Using these monitoring data, Helland and co-workers have analysed the variation in salmon lice levels on wild salmonids collected along the entire Norwegian coast over several years. They find, even after correcting for temperature and salinity effects, that infestation pressure from salmon farms significantly increases the probability of lice infestation in wild salmonids. By discussing the statistical and biological complexities of understanding salmon lice infestations in wild populations, the authors explain why designing an appropriate monitoring program of salmon lice is challenging.


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