Modelling sea lice control by lumpfish on Atlantic salmon farms: interactions with mate limitation, temperature and treatment rules

Overview
TitleModelling sea lice control by lumpfish on Atlantic salmon farms: interactions with mate limitation, temperature and treatment rules
AuthorsMcEwan GF, Groner ML, Cohen AAB, Imsland AKD, Revie CW
TypeJournal Article
Journal NameDiseases of aquatic organisms
Volume133
Issue1
Year2019
Page(s)69-82
CitationMcEwan GF, Groner ML, Cohen AAB, Imsland AKD, Revie CW. Modelling sea lice control by lumpfish on Atlantic salmon farms: interactions with mate limitation, temperature and treatment rules. Diseases of aquatic organisms. 2019 Feb 21; 133(1):69-82.

Abstract

Atlantic salmon farming is one of the largest aquaculture sectors in the world. A major impact on farm economics, fish welfare and, potentially, nearby wild salmonid populations, is the sea louse ectoparasite Lepeophtheirus salmonis. Sea louse infestations are most often controlled through application of chemicals, but in most farming regions, sea lice have evolved resistance to the small set of available chemicals. Therefore, alternative treatment methodologies are becoming more widely used. One increasingly common alternative treatment involves the co-culture of farmed salmon with cleaner fish, which prey on sea lice. However, despite their wide use, little is understood about the situations in which cleaner fish are most effective. For example, previous work suggests that a low parasite density results in sea lice finding it difficult to acquire mates, reducing fecundity and population growth. Other work suggests that environmental conditions such as temperature and external sea louse pressure have substantial impact on this mate limitation threshold and may even remove the effect entirely. We used an Agent-Based Model (ABM) to simulate cleaner fish on a salmon farm to explore interactions between sea louse mating behaviour, cleaner fish feeding rate, temperature and external sea louse pressure. We found that sea louse mating has a substantial effect on sea louse infestations under a variety of environmental conditions. Our results suggest that cleaner fish can control sea louse infestations most effectively by maintaining the population below critical density thresholds.

Author Details
Additional information about authors:
Details
1Gregor F McEwan
2Maya L Groner
3Allegra A B Cohen
4Albert K D Imsland
5Crawford W Revie
Properties
Additional details for this publication include:
Property NameValue
Journal CountryGermany
Publication TypeJournal Article
Language Abbreng
LanguageEnglish
Elocation10.3354/dao03329
DOI10.3354/dao03329
Journal AbbreviationDis. Aquat. Org.
Publication Date2019 Feb 21
pISSN0177-5103
ISSN0177-5103
Publication ModelPrint
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PMID: PMID:31089004