Yet another new scientific paper that supports what we already know that up to 39% of migrating smolts see infested by sea lice and die in the mid atlantic before they reach their feeding grounds. If such a high number of salmon never return to their natal river then why is a government minister considering the granting of ten massive salmon farms off the west Irish Coast. It is high time the denial of the Marine Institute ceased and the proper advice to protect our wild salmon resource was called despite the heavy lobby from IFA Aquaculture.
The definitive scientific paper in which chief state salmon scientist Dr Paddy Gargan participated along with his international colleagues confirmed that effects of salmon
lice on sea trout are increased marine mortality and reduced marine growth.
In summary, the combined knowledge from the reviewed studies provides evidence of a general negative effect of salmon lice on sea trout populations in intensively farmed areas of Ireland, Norway and Scotland.
Premature migratory return, increased marine mortality and reduced growth of survivors that are induced by elevated salmon lice levels inevitably imply
(1) a reduction in numbers and body size of sea trout returning to
freshwater for spawning, and (2) a reduced or eliminated surplus that can be harvested by recreational and commercial fisheries. In the extreme, reduced marine growth and increased mortality could result in the local loss of sea trout populations.