Study the first link between farms and sockeye

Courier-Islander  February 11, 2011

A new study published Monday in the journal Public Library of Science ONE by researchers from Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, and the Universities of Victoria and Simon Fraser provides the first link between salmon farms and elevated levels of sea lice on juvenile Fraser River sockeye salmon.

The article, Sea Louse Infection of Juvenile Sockeye Salmon in Relation to Marine Salmon Farms on Canada’s West Coast, genetically identified 30 distinct stocks of infected Fraser sockeye that pass by open net-pen salmon farms in the Strait of Georgia, including the endangered Cultus Lake stock. The study found that parasitism of Fraser sockeye increased significantly after the juvenile fish passed by fish farms. These same species of lice were found in substantial numbers on the salmon farms.

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