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Response Questions Validity of Sea Lice Report's Conclusions

Science article overstated the risks to wild pink salmon from sea lice and salmon farming

December 20, 2008

Response Questions Validity of Sea Lice Report's Conclusions

In the current issue of “Science” an article by scientists Brian Riddell, Richard Beamish, Laura Richards and John Candy questions the validity of conclusions presented in Krkosek et al. December 2007 report, "Declining Wild Salmon Populations in Relation to Parasites from Farm Salmon." The article explains how excluding pertinent data and ignoring other environmental influences negates the conclusions of the December 2007 report.

In concluding their analysis of report, the authors of the article state, "Krkosek et al. overstated the risks to wild pink salmon from sea lice and salmon farming. Furthermore, their predictions are inconsistent with recent observations of pink salmon returns to the Broughton Archipelago. Their alarming statements of extinction of pink salmon in the Broughton are only possible with highly selective use of the available data and extrapolation of their results to all pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago. In assessing and managing pink salmon in the Broughton, all potential impacts on the productivity of these pink populations, including sea lice, should be acknowledged in developing an effective management strategy." [BC Salmon Farmers Association]

To view the Science article click here

To learn more about sea lice and salmon click here

To view a BCSFA handout on sea lice issues and risks click here

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