Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Salmon Slammin'

Biology News recently posted this press release about the invasive potential of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). The ISW has posted anecdotal references to this issue before, but a new report by the USDA has done a full assessment of the risks to streams in the Pacific Northwest. There is already evidence that escaped Atlantic salmon have established a limited number of naturalized populations in streams on Vancouver Island. The report brings up the risk of pathogen introduction and goes on to note that the further spread of the farmed Atlantic salmon could lead to competition with their wild Pacific counterparts.

In related news:

  • Any guesses as to where the majority of the salmon Americans eat comes from? The answer, according to 49 News: Atlantic salmon farms on the Pacific coast of Southern Chile (be sure to check out the video).
  • A recent article from the Prince Rupert Daily News says Atlantic salmon farms are causing major increases in sea louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) populations off the coast of British Columbia, raising concerns that this could lead to negative impacts on young wild Pacific salmon that have not adapted to deal with the parasites in such large numbers.

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