Aquaculture for all

2013 a Successful Year for Canadian Farmers in Sea Lice Management

Salmonids Health Husbandry +4 more

CANADA - December 31, 2013 was the conclusion of New Brunswicks first full year using an integrated approach to sea lice management.

Lucy Towers thumbnail

After struggling through a few challenging years of high sea lice populations, NB farmers have begun to turn the corner in the management of these naturally occurring parasites. The progress is thanks to the full implementation of a collaborative and integrated pest management plan.

For the past several years, NB farmers have worked collaboratively with provincial and federal regulators, veterinarians, scientists, conservationists and traditional fishers to develop an Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPMP) that combines preventative farming practises like fish husbandry, single year class stocking, fallowing and low stocking densities with having a variety of approved treatment products for use when necessary. This approach allows farmers to focus on the prevention of sea lice and when necessary, to strategically use the right treatment at the right time, thus reducing the overall amount of approved product used.

After an evaluation, the results showed sea lice populations to be lower than they were in the last four years. The only exception was during the last few weeks of October when water temperatures were unseasonably warm.

Farmers achieved that result because, for the first time, they had ongoing access to several treatment options that they could use strategically. They were able to keep treatments to a minimum. On average, farms required treatment only once, and some of our farms did not require treatment at all.

In addition, farmers used environmentally-benign hydrogen peroxide in well boats for the majority of treatments in 2013, but also tested a new delivery system for bath treatments in full tarps that supports better mixing and improved treatment efficacy.

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