Thursday, 25 February 2016

Lice Numbers Don't Match Up in BC and with Marine Harvest CEO, Updated Feb 26, 2016

You may have read the Randy Shore article in the Vancouver Sun, or heard a news clip on CHEK and other television stations in BC that fish farms, Marine Harvest, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood et al think that sea lice on outbound salmon fry don't come from fish farms.

Marine Harvest CEO Aarskog asked for help last year because lice are the number one problem around the world in fish farms. Hmm.

Here is the research that BC Marine Harvest has overlooked that show that fish farm lice infect wild salmon fry in BC. It is a long list:

Peacock, S., M. Krkosek, A. Bateman & M. Lewis, 2015. Parasite-mediated release from predation in a juvenile salmon food web. Ecosphere. 6:art264.

Rees, E., S. St-Hilaire, S. Jones, M. Krkosek, S. DeDominicis, M. Foreman, T. Patanasatienkul & C. Revie, 2015. Spatial patterns of sea lice infection among wild and captive salmon in western Canada. Landscape Ecology, 30, 989-1004.

Krkosek, M. & J. Drake, 2014. On signals of phase transitions in salmon population dynamics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20133221.

Peacock, S., B. Connors, M. Krkosek, J. Irvine, & M. Lewis. 2014. Can reduced predation offset negative effects of sea louse parasites on chum salmon? Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20132913.

Krkosek, M., J. Ashander, L.N. Frazer, & M. Lewis, 2013. Allee effect from parasite spill-back. American Naturalist, 182, 640-652.

Patanasatienkul, T., J. Sanchez, E.E. Rees, M. Krkosek, S.R.M. Jones & C.W. Revie, 2013. Sea lice infestations on juvenile chum and pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago, Canada from 2003 to 2012. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 105, 149-161.

Rogers, L., S. Peacock, P. McKenzie, S. DeDominicis, S. Jones, P. Chandler, M. Foreman, C. Revie, & M. Krkosek, 2013. Modeling parasite dynamics on farmed salmon for precautionary conservation management of wild salmon. PLoS ONE. 8: e60096.

Peacock, S., M. Krkosek, S. Proboszcz, C. Orr, & M. Lewis, 2013. Cessation of a salmon decline with control of parasites. Ecological Applications. 23, 606-620.

Ashander, J., M. Krkosek, & M. Lewis, 2012. Aquaculture-induced changes to dynamics of a migratory host and specialist parasite: a case study of pink salmon and sea lice. Theoretical Ecology. 5, 231-252.

Frazer, L.N., A. Morton, & M. Krkosek, 2012. Critical thresholds in sea lice epidemics: evidence, sensitivity, and subcritical estimation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279, 1950-1958.

Krkosek, M., B. Connors, M. Lewis, & R. Poulin, 2012. Allee effects may slow the spread of parasites in a coastal marine ecosystem. American Naturalist, 179, 401-412.

Morton, A., A. McConnell, R. Routledge, M. Krkosek. 2011. Sea lice dispersion and salmon survival in relation to fallowing and chemical treatment on salmon farms. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 68, 144-156.

Krkosek, M., B. Connors, A. Morton, M. Lewis, L. Dill, & R. Hilborn, 2011. Effects of parasites from salmon farms on wild salmon populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 108, 14700-14704.

Krkosek, M., R. Hilborn, R. Peterman, & T. Quinn. 2011. Cycles, stochastcity, and density dependence in pink salmon population dynamics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 278, 2060-2068.

Krkosek, M., & R. Hilborn. 2011. Sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) infestations and the productivity of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 68, 17-29.

Krkosek, M., B. Connors, H. Ford, S. Peacock, P. Mages, J. Ford, A. Morton, J. Volpe, R. Hilborn, L. Dill,& M. Lewis, 2011. Fish farms, parasites, and predators: Implications for salmon population dynamics. Ecological Applications. 21, 897-914.

Krkosek, M., A. Bateman, S. Proboscsz, & C. Orr. 2010. Dynamics of outbreak and control of salmon lice on two salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago. Aquaculture Environment Interactions. 1, 137-146.

Connors, B., M. Krkosek, J. Ford, & L. Dill. 2010. Coho salmon productivity in relation to direct and trophic transmission of sea lice from salmon aquaculture. Journal of Applied Ecology. 47, 1372-1377.
Krkosek, M. 2010. Host density thresholds and disease control for fisheries and aquaculture. Aquaculture Environment Interactions. 1, 21-32.

Krkosek, M. 2010. Sea lice and salmon in Pacific Canada: Ecology and policy. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8, 201-209.

Krkosek, M., A. Morton, J. Volpe, & M. Lewis. 2009. Sea lice and salmon population dynamics: Effects of exposure time for migratory fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 276, 2819-2828.

Krkosek, M., J. Ford, A. Morton, S. Lele, & M. Lewis, 2008. Response to comment on "Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon". Science. 322, 1790-1791.

Connors, B., M. Krkosek, & L. Dill, 2008. Sea lice escape predation on their host. Biology Letters. 4, 455-457.

Krkosek, M., J. Ford, A. Morton, S. Lele, & M. Lewis, 2008. Sea lice and pink salmon declines: response to Brooks and Jones. Reviews in Fisheries Science. 16, 413-420.

Morton, A., R. Routledge, & M. Krkosek. 2008. Sea lice infestation of juvenile salmon and herring associated with fish farms off the east central coast of British Columbia. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 28, 523-532.

Krkosek, M., J. Ford, A. Morton, S. Lele, R.A. Myers,& M. Lewis, 2007. Declining wild salmon populations in relation to parasites from farm salmon. Science. 318, 1772-1775.

Krkosek, M., A. Gottesfeld, B. Proctor, D. Rolston, C. Carr-Harris, & M. Lewis, 2007. Effects of host migration, diversity, and aquaculture on sea lice threats to wild Pacific salmon populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 274, 1341-3149.

Krkosek, M., M. Lewis, A. Morton, L.N. Frazer & J. Volpe. 2006. Epizootics of wild fish induced by farm fish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 103, 15506-15510.

Morton, A.B. and Williams, R. 2006. Response of the Sea Louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis infestation levels on juvenile wild Pink, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, and Chum, O. keta, salmon, to arrival of parasitized wild adult salmon. Canadian Field Naturalist. 120:2

Morton, A. B. and Routledge (2006) Mortality rates for juvenile pink and chum salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha and keta) infested with sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) in the Broughton Archipelago. Alaska Fisheries Research Bulletin. 11:2, 146-152.

Krkosek, M., M. Lewis, J. Volpe, & A. Morton. 2006. Fish Farms and sea lice infestations of wild juvenile salmon in the Broughton Archipelago – A rebuttal to Brooks (2005). Reviews in Fisheries Science. 14: 1-11.

Morton, A.B., Routledge, R, and Williams R. 2005 Temporal patterns of sea lice infestation on wild Pacific salmon in relation to the fallowing of Atlantic salmon farms. American Journal of Fisheries Management. 25: 811-821

Krkosek, M., M.A. Lewis, & J.P. Volpe. 2005. Transmission dynamics of parasitic sea lice from farm to wild salmon. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 272, 689-696.

Krkosek, M., A. Morton, & J.P. Volpe. 2005. Non-lethal assessment of juvenile Pacific salmon for parasitic sea lice infections and fish health. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 134, 711-716.

Morton, A.B., Routledge, R., Peet, C. and Ladwig, A 2004 Sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, infection rates on juvenile chum and pink salmon in the nearshore marine environment in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 61: 147-157.

Morton, A.B., and Williams R . 2003 Infestation of the sea louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer) on juvenile pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Walbaum) in British Columbia, Canadian Field Naturalist, 117: 634-641

- See more at:

Yes, a long list, indeed - more than 30 published papers -that Marine Harvest ignores. Now, the short list from them:


2. Do read these as they are fascinating accounts of beach seining, if nothing else.

Now, DFO's own numbers from Quatstino Sound summer of 2015:

Yes, all the fish farms in Quatsino were over the 3 lice limit last year. And one was 300% to 800% higher than the limit, coming in at more than 27 lice per fish.

So how is it that Marine Harvest figures are so low and they claim lice don't come from fish farms? Seems a pretty shaky assertion to me.

I would add that the April - May time period may catch chum and pink - there aren't that many in Quatsino. But coho migrate to saltwater in July and chinook are estuarial for as much as 6 months after leaving their river of origin, in the summer, not April/May.

I would add that the beach seines were right across from farms so the discrepancy is likely the result of finding figures in the wrong place, as well as at the wrong time. It is not common for fry to be found on beaches, other than chum.

But I would add that as they only found one searun cutthroat trout, that is strong evidence - not followed up - that fish that spend their lives in shallow water just aren't there. They may have died from sea lice and thus not be in the sample, a species of greater interest given that they spend their whole lives in Quatsino Sound -  on beaches in 3 feet of water. No steelhead fry were found either. I can't speculate on their number being zero, but they are the species of greatest concern for being near the limits of extinction given their small population size - often runs can have as few as 150 individuals.


Now, go look at a list of problems in fish farms/seafood industry. Scan the boldfacing. I think you will be shocked:

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