Scientific Publications

Krkosek, M., Lewis, M. A., Volpe, J.P. and Morton, A.B.. 2006. Fish Farms and Sea Lice Infestations of Wild Juvenile Salmon in the Broughton Archipelago—A Rebuttal to Brooks (2005). Reviews in Fisheries Science, 14: 1-11

Contrary to several recent studies, a review (Brooks, 2005) of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) interactions between wild and farm salmon in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia, Canada, concluded that there is little potential for sea lice transmission from farm to wild salmon. In this rebuttal, we show that this conclusion was based on a flawed interpretation of how salinity affects louse development, a misunderstanding of how the timing of salinity changes corresponds to the timing of the juvenile salmon migration, models of larval dispersion that overestimate the transport of louse larvae, and a selective and misleading assessment of the literature. We analyze and extend the current models of larval dispersion and demonstrate the (perhaps counter-intuitive) result that sustained high abundances of infectious larvae should be expected near lice-infested salmon farms. We also highlight important studies overlooked in Brooks (2005) and clarify some misinterpretations. Counter to the conclusions in Brooks (2005), the modeling and empirical work to date on sea lice interactions between wild and farm salmon are consistent and point to a strong association between salmon farming and recurrent infestations of wild juvenile salmon in the Broughton Archipelago.

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