Observations on open-water densities of sea lice larvae in Loch Shieldaig, Western Scotland

Michael Penston, Margaret McKibben, David Hay, Phil Gillibrand

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49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sea trout (Salmo trutta L.) stocks on the West Coast of Scotland and Ireland have decreased due to reduced survival during the marine phase of their life cycle. Lice-infested sea trout returning to rivers could indicate that parasite burdens are contributing to the decline. Salmon farms represent a potential source of substantial quantities of sea lice, leading to a conjectured link between parasites on salmon fish farms and infestations on wild sea trout. To investigate the potential infective pressure on sea trout in Loch Shieldaig, offshore and sub-littoral plankton samples were collected and analysed for sea lice nauplius and copepodid stages. During the plankton survey, numbers of sea lice on a fish farm in the loch reached a maximum in November 2001. Soon after, numbers of sea lice larvae peaked in open-water samples and then in sub- littoral samples. Nauplii were found adjacent to the farm and occurred less elsewhere. This study reports a concentration of sea lice larvae at the head of Loch Shieldaig and indicates a possible relationship between sea lice numbers on the fish farm and lice larvae densities in the open-water of the loch and in the sub-littoral zone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-805
Number of pages13
JournalAQUAC RES
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • IRELAND
  • COAST
  • LEPEOPHTHEIRUS-SALMONIS COPEPODA
  • DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES
  • TROUT
  • CALIGUS-ELONGATUS VONNORDMANN
  • CALIGIDAE
  • LOUSE
  • INFESTATIONS
  • SALAR

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