Wild fish community composition and host-parasite infection rates relative to net-pen aquaculture facilities
The economically cost-effective methods of intensive open net-pen farming externalize the costs of waste treatment and clean water supply by drawing these critical ecosystem services from the nearshore marine environment. Salmon farms serve as point sources for organic nutrients (uneaten feed and salmon waste), parasites, and heavy metals. Salmon farms may have impacts on proximal wild species including increases in disease and parasite abundance and chemical and heavy metal contamination. This project will be examining the effect of proximity to salmon farms on the prevalence of parasites and disease in wild fish populations. This research will prove useful to Wild Canadian Sablefish Ltd. by providing knowledge for the conservation of economically important wild finfish populations and the ecosystems that sustain them.