Modelling the Impact of Coordinated Policies to Reduce Sea Lice Abundance in Farmed Salmon Populations
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Farmed salmon has large potential as a source of food to the worlds growing population. It is also an important source of income, both to local communities and Norway. The introduction of large biomass into the sea by the fish farming industry greatly increases the available hosts for parasites in Norwegian fjords. Due to the great outnumbering of wild populations by farmed salmon, the management of aquaculture has an effect on the environment, as host density increases disease and parasitic development. This salmon lice population growth has resulted in governmental restrictions on industry expansion, as the effect of some treatments is decreasing due to intensive use. The problem is also a large cost to the producers, who estimate that more than 10% of production cost is caused by the lice problem. The model consists of sub-models of the biomass in several locations within one area, lice populations and reproductive processes, dependent on temperatures, abundance and infection pressure divided between internal and external infection pressure on farm locations. The model aims to clarify the intensity of relationships governing some of these challenges, in order to find leverage points for improving the situation. The model is a framework for studying coordination of risk mitigating actions through scenario simulation. This allow users to test simple policies for lice mitigation, coordinated fallowing and pre-emptive treatment of salmon lice in locations. Further, the model forms a framework for expansion with the large sets of reported data openly available in order to increase its prediction power and thus be used as a tool to aid planning events. By making this framework available and easier to use, the value of data collection to operators in the industry may be made clearer, further improving the basis for model expansion in the future. We demonstrate that recreating the system and simultaneously using policies recommended by research, enhances the impact of parasite mitigating policies.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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