The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of infestation pressures on the abundance of the parasitic sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick (NB), Canada, using the Fish-iTrends database for the years 2009-2018. Infestation pressures were calculated as time-lagged weighted averages of the abundance of adult female (AF) sea lice within a site (internal infestation pressure: IIP) and among sites (external infestation pressure: EIP). The EIP weights were calculated from seaway distances among sites and a Gaussian kernel density for bandwidths of 5 to 60 km. The EIP with a bandwidth of 10 km had the best fit, as determined with Akaike's information criterion, and historical AF sea lice abundance. This estimated dispersal distance of 10 km was similar to previous studies in Norway, Scotland and in New Brunswick. The infestation pressures estimated from empirical AF sea lice abundance within and among sites significantly increased the abundance of AF sea lice (p < .001). This study concludes that sea lice burdens within Atlantic salmon farms in the Bay of Fundy, NB, are affected by within site management and could be improved by synchronizing treatments between sites.
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