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Posted by Joan Russow
Thursday, 19 December 2013 12:22

Press Release  on Report from University of Victoria


http://communications.uvic.ca/releases/tip.php?date=19122013#1534Dowload Release in PDF Format

Fish farms pose biosecurity risk, says new study


December 19, 2013

Dowload Release in PDF Format

Live fish pathogens are being transmitted from farmed salmon processing facilities into the marine waters of Canada’s Pacific coast, a new study has confirmed.

Researchers at the University of Victoria say their peer-reviewed study titled “Fish processing facilities: new challenge to marine biosecurity in Canada,” published recently in the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, shows that fish farms pose a marine biosecurity risk for Canada and that better guidelines and monitoring of fish farms by the Canadian government are needed.

Salmon farms routinely experience outbreaks of sea lice, and juvenile wild salmon swimming past farms are often infected with sea lice. However, this is the first time that a processing facility for farmed salmon has been identified as a source of sea lice.

In this study, the authors recovered hundreds of live lice and eggs directly from the effluent of a facility that processes Atlantic salmon on Vancouver Island's east coast. The study site supports several wild salmon populations, including Canada’s largest annual migration of juvenile sockeye salmon.

“Sea lice and other disease vectors transmitted from facilities processing farmed fish from across the province may pose a threat to wild salmon populations,” says UVic marine ecologist Dr. John Volpe, a co-author of the paper. “Our study demonstrates that disease transmission is possible from farmed fish to wild fish through the tissue, blood and mucus released in untreated farmed salmon offal.

“If live sea lice eggs are pouring out of farmed salmon processing plants, it is likely that infectious bacteria and viruses are as well,” says Volpe, adding that more research is needed to determine the extent of sea lice release and whether more virulent fish pathogens are present in fish farm effluent.

The other authors of the paper were UVic biologist Michael Price, Raincoast Research Society biologist Alexandra Morton, and J.G. Eriksson with Sonora Marine Services.


Copies of the paper are available at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/uahh20/current#.UrMsSY3kDnc

  Media Contacts:

Dr.John Volpe (School of Environmental Studies) at 250-888-7711 (cell) or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr. Alexandra Morton (Raincoast Research Society) at 250-974-7086 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Anne MacLaurin (Social Sciences Communications) at 250-217-4259 (cell) or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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UVic media releases & resources for journalists: http://communications.uvic.ca/media


UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 December 2013 12:28

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