B.C. fish farms blamed for sea lice in new report
A young pink salmon with a sea lice infestation is shown in this handout photo.
Published Thursday, December 23, 2010 11:24AM EST
VANCOUVER - Another salvo has been fired in the battle over sea lice at fish farms on the B.C. coast.
Just a week after a report was released clearing sea lice in the collapse of the pink salmon run in 2002, an environmental group is pointing to a new report that it says shows fish farms make the sea lice problem worse.
Watershed Watch quotes a study by a New Zealand professor who looked at the growth of sea lice on two salmon farms in the Broughton archipelago on the central B.C. coast, which is on the migration path of juvenile wild salmon.
The environmental group says the study found that farmed salmon can lead to a sharp increase in sea lice in coastal waters.
Last week a team of B.C. and American researchers released a report saying the 2001 pink salmon run was infected by sea lice from fish farms but the run still had record returns, while the fishery collapsed the next year.
Lead researcher Gary Marty of the University of California said that indicates something other than sea lice must have killed the 2002 salmon.