Journal Article

Survival and growth of sea-ranched Atlantic salmon, <i>Salmo salar</i> L., treated against sea lice before release

Ove T. Skilbrei and Vidar Wennevik

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 7, pages 1317-1325
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2006.04.012
Survival and growth of sea-ranched Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., treated against sea lice before release

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Cultured Atlantic salmon smolts were treated with Slice®, orally administered emamectin benzoate, before release in the Dale River, western Norway, to study the potential effects of sea lice during the early stages of their marine phase. In all, 10 470 treated and untreated (control) fish from ten family groups were adipose fin-clipped, coded-wire tagged, and released on three different dates in 2002 (11 May, 25 May, and 7 June), which coincided with the natural smolt run. The percentage of released smolts recaptured as one-sea-winter salmon in 2003 did not differ between the treated and untreated groups released on the two dates in May 2002, but the recapture rate of fish from the treated group released on 7 June 2002 was almost twice that of the controls. The weights of the recaptured one-sea-winter salmon tended to decline from the first to the third release date, and one-sea-winter salmon from the treated groups were approximately 15% heavier than the controls. The difference in recapture rate between the treated and untreated groups increased after inclusion of the two-sea-winter and three-sea-winter salmon recaptured in 2004 and 2005, respectively. We conclude that the infestation level of salmon lice changed from non-lethal to lethal levels during the period of the smolt migration in 2002 and that non-lethal infestation levels may adversely affect Atlantic salmon populations by reducing the growth rate of fish and, consequently, their size at spawning.

Keywords: Atlantic salmon; emamectin benzoate; growth; salmon lice; survival

Journal Article.  5224 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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