Posted by: Bob Payne | August 26, 2011

New Study Confirms Lice from Farmed Salmon Imperil Wild Salmon

A new study on the impacts of lice on wild salmon published today by an independent team of academic researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) confirmed what many previous and unbiased studies have also shown, namely, that lice on farmed salmon can multiply and spread to wild salmon and decrease their survival. What’s unique about this new PNAS sea lice study is that it exposes serious flaws in a December 13, 2010 study published in the same journal by lead author and provincially-employed fish pathologist, Dr. Gary Marty. That study concluded lice were not harming wild salmon, and that alarms over open net-cage salmon farm impacts and calls for better management were unjustified. The results reported today by the academic researchers used the same data analyzed by Gary Marty and colleagues, previously unavailable to non-industry scientists. The re-analysis however employed proper spatial and temporal methods to confirm a “direct link between survival and louse abundance on farms” for both coho and pink salmon.

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