SFU salmon study reveals flaws in assessment of sea-lice risk

There are serious flaws in the way the federal fisheries department assesses the potentially lethal effects of sea lice on juvenile salmon, according to a new research paper co-authored by SFU fish-population statistician Rick Routledge. The paper, published Jan. 5 in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management by Routledge and Alexandra Morton of Raincoast Research, details their study of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ use of a measurement system called the Fulton Condition Factor. The system assesses the health of sea lice-infested salmon based on whether the fish weigh an appropriate amount for their size. The study reveals that the FCF system is so misleading it fails to pick up the unhealthiness of sea lice-infested young salmon even when they are only days away from dying.

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