How much time do wild sockeye salmon spend near salmon farms?

Depending on how you measure it, juvenile sockeye salmon spend minutes to days in the vicinity of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands, BC. Kintama and UBC’s newest paper contributes data to the discussion about the role of open-net-pen Atlantic Salmon farms and its effect on wild salmon. We found that ~2/3 of acoustic-tagged fish migrated through routes containing open-net-pen Atlantic salmon farms. Juvenile sockeye migrate through these areas quickly, resulting in a median time within a couple hundred meters of individual farms of <10 minutes, while the median time to pass through a 24 km channel with several farms was under two days. The lack of farms in the westernmost passage offers the lowest potential exposure to fish farms. This is the first study on individual fish available to inform assessments of the transmission risk of infectious agents between farmed and wild salmon.

The paper is available on request or from the journal by as full or limited shared access.