Collaborative partnerships are an integral part of the salmon aquaculture industry and Marine Harvest is proud to be a key player in one that is bringing together all sides of an issue. The Broughton Archipelago Monitoring Plan (BAMP) began last year as a multiyear lice monitoring and research program.
“This initiative is world class and brings together the crucial sectors of industry, government, researchers and ENGOs who have an interest in the effects of sea lice on juvenile salmon,” said Sharon DeDominicis, Environmental Sustainability Manager. This process will give everybody a lot of answers based on solid science, added Sharon.
In addition to Marine Harvest, project partners are the five member groups of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as Mainstream Canada and Grieg Seafood BC, the other two aquaculture companies operating in the Broughton. These same groups also shared the cost of funding the program, which is set to run until 2014. Other key participants in BAMP are Dr. Crawford Revie, Canada Research Chair at the University of Prince Edward Island and Dr. Marty Krkošek of New Zealand’s University of Otago.
A main objective of the BAMP program include sampling of juvenile wild salmon from approximately 100 sites during their spring migration followed up laboratory analysis of the sample to improve understanding of sea lice levels in the area. A key part of the project also includes integrating historical scientific data with 2010 data to research possible interactions between sea lice and wild and farmed salmon.
The effectiveness of different farm management practices as well as improvement of sea lice transmission predictions is also included.
This level of collaboration and cooperation is ground-breaking within our industry. Along with Marine Harvest, everybody is working very hard to fulfill the commitment we’ve all made to advance our mutual understanding of this issue, commented Sharon.
In 2010, nearly 7,000 fish were assessed in the field between March and June. Almost all fish captured were pink, with a small number of chum and coho included. While only a preliminary analysis has been done to date, early indications suggest that 2010 sea lice levels on juvenile salmon species are as low as recent years.
A website is set to launch within the next six to eight weeks. It will feature a comprehensive database and will incorporate both recent and historic wild and farmed salmon data that will place not only the 2010 lice count data in context of longer historic trends, but also all subsequent data from future years. The site will also include a history of the BAMP program.
By Gina Forsyth