Where do sea lice winter?

Spawning sockeye salmon are seen making their way up the Adams River in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park near Chase, B.C. Intense research is under way to determine where, why and how young salmon die at sea – particularly over the past few years. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

If you were a sea louse waiting for spring (and the young wild salmon it will bring), would you winter in a salmon farm or pick a smaller species of fish? According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, that’s currently a million-dollar question. Sea lice can prove deadly to young wild salmon as they emerge from B.C. rivers in the spring and begin their journey out to sea. Whether the root of the problem is sea lice harboured in densely packed ocean pens of Atlantic salmon or whether it’s a more natural progression of lice transferring seasonally to herring or stickleback is up for debate. Read both sides of the story (and what it may mean for the future of aquaculture) here.

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