Landmark collaborative sea lice study published

journal.pone.0060096.g001
Salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago, part of a landmark new research study involving industry, government, and ENGO scientists.

A landmark study was published earlier this month which will likely be overlooked by… pretty much everyone.

But we think it deserves as much media attention as it can get.

The study, titled “Modeling Parasite Dynamics on Farmed Salmon for Precautionary Conservation Management of Wild Salmon,” does have any radical new conclusions. It’s good, sound science that suggests that treating farmed salmon for sea lice in January or February minimizes risks the parasites may pose to juvenile wild salmon during their spring outmigration.

Adapting the management of parasites on farmed salmon according to migrations of wild salmon may therefore provide a precautionary approach to conserving wild salmon populations in salmon farming regions,” it concludes.

Looks like a wise, prudent conclusion. Why are there no ENGOs and activists howling at the moon over this?

Especially given who’s on the author list? The author list is the real landmark part of this study. It includes:

  • Martin Krkošek, whose mathematical modelling study and work with Alexandra Morton nearly a decade ago sparked a decade of outrage against salmon farms because of fears of sea lice.
  • Stephanie Peacock, who has worked with Krkošek on previous papers.
  • Simon Jones, DFO scientist and author of several seminal papers on sea lice.
  • Crawford Revie, one of Canada’s top scientists and professor at Atlantic Veterinary College.
  • Peter McKenzie, vet at Mainstream Canada.
  • Sharon DeDominicus, vet at Marine Harvest Canada.

It’s fantastic that all these people were able to work together, despite their diverse background and history.

This is a shining example of collaborative research, and what can be done when people put aside their ideology and put science first.

 

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3 thoughts on “Landmark collaborative sea lice study published”

  1. You just pointed out with the formula the problem with this discussion. It your world it is all about what is in the pen! No one disputes that the sea lice come from the wild fish. Locking millions of Atlantics in an open net pen, providing hundreds of thousands of hosts for lice incubation, is the issue.

    Show me the data that says if this formula & Slice applied at 3 lice/fish (6 x the Norwegian threshold of .5/fish), there is a corresponding drop in lice on the wild stock. If a Fraser wild salmon swims north and only picks up 1 louse per site as it passes, it will not survive. You have multiple farm operations leaching adult and larval sea lice, sited right on the migration route the wild stocks will follow.

  2. Good paper on what happens inside the pen. Now where is the coloration between the reduced sea louse counts inside the pens, and the count on the wild fish passing by outside.
    Where are the corresponding wild smolt lice infection numbers? Does a reduction of lice inside the pen result in an infection reduction on the wild salmon smolt outside?
    Wild salmon don’t get inoculated against disease or treated with Slice. 3 gravid lice/fish on a site with 1,000,000 fish could produce 1,800,000.000 larva every 2 to 3 weeks.
    Why is the acceptable threshold here of 3 so much higher than in Norway where a count of .5 females/fish triggering a treatment.
    The Atlantic smolts attacked in Norway are 5 to6 inches in length and scales up when they pass the open net pens.

    1. Clearly you didn’t read the paper, of you would see there is a formula in there for calculating the growth rate of sea lice in a farm pen. Take a look and give it a try!

      You also don’t seem to realize that wild salmon are exposed to sea lice naturally. In fact, *GASP* that’s where they come from in the first place! Wild fish! Whodathunkit.

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