Farmed salmon could become an invasive species in forest streams

Mar 08, 2007

Ever since the Norwegians expanded commercial farming of salmon in the 1960s, the industry has continued to rapidly grow worldwide. It has expanded to such a degree that prices for farmed salmon have plummeted and, there is concern that farmed fish may become the next invasive species.

"Farmed fish escaping from marine net pens might become an invasive species in British Columbia, Washington or Alaska," says research fish biologist Peter Bisson. "Net pen culture of salmon is big business worldwide, and both advocates and opponents of salmon farming have been very vocal in stating their views. I wanted to look at the hard evidence to determine the short- and long-term risks to native species in streams on National Forests."

Bisson, a staff scientist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station/Forest Service, began work on the report, Assessment of the Risk of Invasion of National Forest Streams in the Pacific Northwest by Farmed Atlantic Salmon, to assess the potential impact of farmed salmon on native fishes inhabiting streams on National Forest System lands and to learn if concerns from both sides of the farmed-versus-wild fish debate had validity, based on an extensive literature review.

Here are some of the findings in the report:

-- At present, breeding populations of escaped farm salmon are not known to exist on National Forest System lands, but the locations of Atlantic salmon farms and the sightings of escaped salmon indicate that streams on four national forests may be at risk: the Tongass and Chugach NF in Alaska, and the Olympic and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie NF in Washington.

-- Atlantic salmon could transmit a serious disease or parasite to native fishes.

-- Escaped salmon may eventually adapt to local conditions, leading to self-sustaining populations.

-- Escaped salmon could compete with already at-risk species, such as steelhead.

Source: USDA Forest Service

Explore further: Famed Galapagos tortoise 'Pepe the Missionary' dies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds medical pot farms draining streams dry

Jun 01, 2014

Wildlife officials say drought-stricken streams in Northern California's coastal forests are being sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms—an issue that has spurred at least one county to try to outlaw personal ...

Researchers aim to get upstream on antibiotic resistance

Jan 10, 2014

The battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria has taken to the high seas as a team of University of Alberta researchers received funding from the federal government to look at alternatives for fighting ...

Sea otters promote recovery of seagrass beds

Aug 26, 2013

Scientists studying the decline and recovery of seagrass beds in one of California's largest estuaries have found that recolonization of the estuary by sea otters was a crucial factor in the seagrass comeback. ...

A slimy marine organism fit for biofuel and salmon feed

Jun 27, 2013

(Phys.org) —It sounds too good to be true: a common marine species that consumes microorganisms and can be converted into much-needed feed for salmon or a combustible biofuel for filling petrol tanks. And ...

Ant colonies share disease resistance

Jun 30, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A Northeastern University biology professor and her team of student researchers have discovered that the social feeding habits of carpenter ants reduce disease transmission and widespread ...

Recommended for you

Researchers look at small RNA pathways in maize tassels

20 hours ago

Researchers at the University of Delaware and other institutions across the country have been awarded a four-year, $6.5 million National Science Foundation grant to analyze developmental events in maize anthers ...

How plant cell compartments change with cell growth

20 hours ago

A research team led by Kiminori Toyooka from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science has developed a sophisticated microscopy technique that for the first time captures the detailed movement of ...

Plants can 'switch off' virus DNA

20 hours ago

A team of virologists and plant geneticists at Wageningen UR has demonstrated that when tomato plants contain Ty-1 resistance to the important Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), parts of the virus DNA ...

User comments : 0