Considerations in developing an integrated pest management programme for control of sea lice on farmed salmon in Pacific Canada


Dr K M Brooks, Aquatic Environmental Sciences, 644 Old Eaglemount Road, Port Townsend, Washington 98368, USA


In the development of integrated pest management (IPM) plans for the control of sea lice there are some components that are common to many areas. However, effective plans must be tailored to regionally varying environmental and biological factors affecting the severity of sea lice infections. This paper describes factors that would be involved in the development of an IPM plan for sea lice in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia. Temperature, salinity and currents affect the production, dispersion and competence of larvae of sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer), as they develop to the infective copepodid stage. This information can be coupled with oceanographic conditions in the Broughton Archipelago and emerging computer models to define zones of infection where infections of new hosts are most likely. Salinity and temperature depend, in part, on river discharge in estuarine systems. River discharge depends on precipitation, snow pack and ambient temperatures, which can be monitored to help forecast the intensity of sea lice infections associated with both farmed and wild hosts. One of the goals of IPM planning is to reduce reliance on pesticides to avoid development of resistance in targeted parasites and to minimize environmental residues. Recommendations for developing an IPM plan specific to the Broughton Archipelago are provided along with a discussion of the additional information needed to refine IPM plans in this and other areas.