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Potential ecological and economic impacts of sea lice from farmed salmon on wild salmon fisheries


  • Liu, Yajie
  • Sumaila, Ussif Rashid
  • Volpe, John Paul


This paper examines the possible ecological and economic effects of sea lice from salmon farms on wild salmon populations and fisheries. A bioeconomic model is developed incorporating an age-structured population dynamics model of wild pink and chum salmon with mortality caused by farm-derived sea lice. Our model incorporates capture fisheries under two management policy scenarios. Results suggest that the ecological and economic effects are minor when the sea lice induced mortality rate is below 20%, while they can be severe if the mortality is greater than 30%. Sea lice have greater ecological and economic impacts on pink salmon than on chum salmon. The impact of farm lice epizootics on wild salmon is greater under a fixed exploitation rate than under a target escapement policy. As a result, a precautionary principle should be adopted, and appropriate management schemes and policy strategies should be developed to minimize these effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Yajie & Sumaila, Ussif Rashid & Volpe, John Paul, 2011. "Potential ecological and economic impacts of sea lice from farmed salmon on wild salmon fisheries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1746-1755, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:10:p:1746-1755

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Liu, Yajie & Sumaila, Ussif Rashid, 2008. "Can farmed salmon production keep growing?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 497-501, May.
    2. Graeme J. Doole, 2005. "Optimal management of the New Zealand longfin eel (Anguilla dieffenbachii) ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 49(4), pages 395-411, December.
    3. Frank Asche & Helge Bremnes & Cathy R. Wessells, 1999. "Product Aggregation, Market Integration, and Relationships between Prices: An Application to World Salmon Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 568-581.
    4. Marita Laukkanen, 2001. "A Bioeconomic Analysis of the Northern Baltic Salmon Fishery: Coexistence versus Exclusion of Competing Sequential Fisheries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(3), pages 293-315, March.
    5. Richard Schwindt & Aidan Vining & Steven Globerman, 2000. "Net loss: A cost-benefit analysis of the Canadian Pacific salmon fishery," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 23-45.
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