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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 37:145-152 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/dao037145

A Monte Carlo simulation model for assessing the risk of introduction of Gyrodactylus salaris to the Tana river, Norway

L. G. Paisley1,*, E. Karlsen2, J. Jarp1, T. A. Mo1

1National Veterinary Institute, PO Box 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo, Norway
2Norwegian Animal Health Authority, Regional Office for Troms and Finmark, PO Box 652, N-9401 Harstad, Norway

ABSTRACT: The Tana river in northern Norway, the most productive salmon river in Europe, is free of Gyrodactylus salaris. Currently there is one salmon farm in operation on the Tana fjord. Because of the strong association between stocking of rivers with salmon and infestations with G. salaris there is national and international concern that the existing farm might lead to the introduction of the parasite to the Tana river. In response to these concerns a quantitative analysis of the risk of introduction of G. salaris to the Tana river was undertaken. A scenario tree, the Monte Carlo simulation model and results of the simulations including sensitivity analyses are presented and discussed. Results show that the probability of introduction of G. salaris to the Tana river via transfer of smolt to the existing salmon farm is extremely low primarily due to the low probability that the transferred smolt become infested. The total risk was very sensitive to changes in the salinity of the water at the sea site.

KEY WORDS: Gyrodactylus salaris · Atlantic salmon · Norway · Risk assessment · Monte Carlo simulation model

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