New study: Sea lice, sockeye salmon, and foraging competition
Watershed Watch Salmon Society assisted our partners at SFU in a new study about sea lice and Fraser River sockeye, published this week.
Sean Godwin, a doctoral biology student at SFU, found that highly infected juvenile sockeye salmon were 20 per cent less successful at consuming food, on average, than lightly infected fish.
Ecological significance of sea lice & sockeye salmon in the wild
“Ultimately, given the prevalence of sea louse infection that we observed, parasite management practices should be improved on farms along the migration route of these fish,” adds Godwin.
The study conducted a competitive foraging experiment using out-migrating juvenile Fraser River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) to determine whether fish with high abundances of parasitic sea lice (Caligus clemensi and Lepeophtheirus salmonis) have reduced competitive abilities when foraging.