SFU think tank – Managing for Uncertainty: Pathogens and Diseases in Pacific Salmon

As part of Simon Fraser University’s Speaking for the Salmon series, an Invitational Scientist’s Think Tank was held to discuss disease organisms and salmon health on November 30 and December 1, 2011. Kintama participated along with about 25 other invited local and International scientists. Following the meeting, the group released a consensus statement that highlighted key points, barriers, and opportunities for illuminating the role of disease organisms in wild salmon populations.

“Combining modern methods, such as molecular assays and telemetry, with classic pathology, on-the-ground population monitoring and large-scale experiments can provide the needed insight into the risk factors associated with disease in wild fish. It is time to develop new collaborative and independent infrastructures for addressing these challenges” stated the release.

Kintama agrees wholeheartedly. Working with collaborators from UBC, SFU, and government agencies, Kintama has developed a proposal for rigorously testing the effects of fish farms on salmon survival (TEFFS) using acoustic telemetry. Dr. David Welch, President of Kintama Research adds, “We have excellent support within the science community for TEFFS and are in the process of acquiring financial backing for the project. This study will go a long way to answering whether farms actually effect salmon survival or not”.

More information on the meeting can be found here along with a separate document highlighting the group’s recommendations. More information on TEFFS and the draft proposal can be found here.