The pathobiology and disease ecology of aquatic pathogens in Maine

Aquaculture remains the fastest-growing agricultural sector and has seen an annual growth rate grow of 4% to 7% year on year over the last decade. If Maine aquaculture is to remain economically viable, the industry must stay at the forefront of aquatic animal health and develop an improved understanding of the ecology and control of infectious disease. It it important to identify the best areas for aquafarms for production proposes and to make the best use of the environmental carrying capacity for aquaculture while keeping any detrimental environmental impacts to a minimum. Wild salmon populations and wildlife managers will benefit from understanding the ecology of infectious aquatic diseases, allowing improved disease management in captive stocks as well as timing the release of captive bred fish for restocking purposes in areas of low disease risk and at times of low disease intensity in the wild. This research seeks to improve the understanding of the factors that govern the distribution of the salmon louse in the Gulf of Maine and methods to control this disease. Not only will this data be important to salmon farmers it will also inform other stakeholders and policy makers of the risk of disease infecting farmed fish from wild sources and vice versa.

Investigator: Bricknell, I.

Unit: School of Marine Sciences

Termination Date: 30-Sep-19