Posts Tagged ‘sea lice’

Mapping Salmon – Wild and Farmed

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

pink salmon lice This week’s Science Magazine published a study by Erik Stokstad et al titled Parasites From Fish Farms Driving Wild Salmon to Extinction. Their findings were picked up by many news outlets including a story in The Washington Post and another story in The New York Times. If you eat fish, you’ve probably eaten a salmon and should pay attention here.

Basic outline: fish farms are placed in river estuaries that are used by young wild salmon where they usually gain weight and otherwise mature before heading out to the open ocean to bulk up, return, spawn, and start the life cycle over again. The researchers claim that sea lice from the farmed fish (kept in crowded net “pens”) are decimating the young salmon before they can get to the open ocean and the estimate that the wild runs, which have already suffered a sharp decline in the study area, are headed to extinction.

Maps on the jump…