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Reflections of a Research Community” Topic: Where do sea lice on salmon farms come from and can we control them?

November 3, 2010


Reflections of a Research Community”

Topic: Where do sea lice on salmon farms come from and can we control them?

Who: Ian Bricknell, Director of the Aquaculture Research Center

When:   Thursday, Nov. 18 at 4:00 PM

Where: University Club, Fogler Library

Sea lice are one of the most important health issues for marine Atlantic salmon aquaculture worldwide. They are found on both the West and East coast of America and it has been suggested that these parasites have a very serious impact on both wild and farmed fish. Recently, this parasite has developed resistance to the drug most commonly used to remove it from cultured fish. This has caused major economic and fish welfare problems for fish farmers, with alternative control measures including reduced salmon stocking density and the application of treatments such as freshwater and hydrogen peroxide baths, which are costly to administer and stressful to the animals.

In terms of sea louse infection, the question of the extent and nature of interactions between farmed and wild salmon, is a controversial one, especially on the West cost of Canada and the USA. While some researchers have predicted the extinction of some species of Pacific salmon within a decade due to the impact of sea lice, other studies using identical data can find little effect on the wild fisheries. For example, 2010 has seen the highest numbers of returning sockeye salmon in Canada since the 1950s.

This seminar will consider the differing viewpoints that researchers and other interested parties bring to this controversial topic and will attempt to shed light on the key issues involved using the latest scientific research from UMaine Aquaculture Research Institute.

Dr. Bricknell’s bio can be viewed here:

Marine Science

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