Institute of Marine Research: Warmer climate results in more salmon lice

SalmonPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB

According to the Institute of Marine Research, climate change, which leads to higher sea temperatures, could lead to a doubling of infection from salmon lice.

A temperature increase of two degrees is considered realistic. If the temperature in the sea, for example, increases from 9 to 11 degrees, it is estimated that it will double the infection from salmon lice, the Institute of Marine Research writes on its website.

“Our results show that it could be more difficult to run sustainable farming in a future warmer climate,” marine scientist Anne Sandvik said.

Climate change will lead to higher sea temperatures, which in turn will lead to salmon lice thriving better, according to the Institute of Marine Research. That will lead to significantly higher infection pressure on both wild fish and farmed fish. The sea temperature is decisive for how fast salmon lice develop from eggs to adult lice.

Effects on salmon lice

“In winter, when it is cold in the sea, salmon lice develop slowly. It can take several ‘extra’ weeks before they have developed from larva to adult. As the temperature rises over the spring and summer, the development goes faster and faster. The lice grow and multiply faster in hot than in cold water,” Sandvik explained.

The Norwegian Seafood Federation (Sjømat Norge), which is an interest organization for the seafood industry, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that they do not want to use the findings of the Institute of Marine Research as a conclusion – and that it is a complex situation.

“We know from the past that if it gets too hot in the water, the lice have a shorter lifespan and can die more easily. And then it is the case that Norway is a long, long country. There is no doubt that there are geographical differences,” communications manager Øyvind André Haram said.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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