UW Aquatic & Fishery Sciences Quantitative Seminar
UW School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
Effects of salmon farms on sea lice and salmon population dynamics in the Broughton Archipelago
Salmon aquaculture is growing rapidly. Because farm fish are held at high density in net pens that are open to the surrounding environment, fish farms can alter the transmission dynamics of pathogens and affect the health of both natural and farm fish. In this talk, I will present published and emerging models of sea lice and salmon population dynamics. I apply the models to large
datasets of sea lice and salmon population dynamics collected from experiments, fieldwork, and fisheries databases. This approach yields a comprehensive quantitative framework for understanding how salmon aquaculture affects the transmission dynamics of sea lice and the population dynamics of pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago. The modeling approach indicates sea lice transmission from farm to wild salmon can depress and threaten wild pink salmon populations, but also provides threshold targets for management and policy to conserve and restore affected populations.