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Epidemiological description of the sea lice (Caligus rogercresseyi) situation in southern Chile in August 2007

Hamilton-West, Christopher, Arriagada, Gabriel, Yatabe, Tadaishi, Valdés, Pablo, Hervé-Claude, Luis Pablo, Urcelay, Santiago
Preventive veterinary medicine 2012 v.104 no.3-4 pp. 341-345
Caligus rogercresseyi, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Salmo salar, cages, fish culture, fish farms, fish production, fisheries, marine fish, monitoring, Chile
Salmon sea lice represent one of the most important threats to salmon farming throughout the world. Results of private monitoring efforts have shown an increase in the number of positive cages and cage-level abundance of sea lice in southern Chile since 2004. As a consequence, the Chilean Fisheries Service implemented an Official Surveillance Program in the main salmon production area of southern Chile to assess the situation of sea lice in fish farms. Results showed that the prevalence of sea lice in the fish farms was 53.4%, ranging from 3.5% in Puerto Aysén to 100% in the Seno de Reloncaví zone. The average sea lice abundance was 11.8 per fish (Geometrical mean (GM)=8.61, 95% CI (2.1–6.9)). The highest levels were found in Seno de Reloncaví (GM=24.99, 95% CI (15.9–39.2)), Hornopirén (GM=14.7, 95% CI (10.4–20.8)) and Chiloé norte (GM=9.75, 95% CI (1–1.9)), and the lowest loads were observed in Puerto Aysén (GM=1.35, 95%CI (1–1.9)) and Puerto Cisnes (GM=1.67, 95%CI (1.1–2.6)). Salmo salar and Oncorhynchus mykiss had the highest abundance levels (GM=6.93, 95% CI (5.7–8.5), and (GM=5.55, 95% CI (3.6–8.5), respectively). O. kisutch showed lower levels (GM=1.34, 95% CI (1–1.7)), apparently being more resistant to infestation. Sea lice in farmed salmon are widely distributed in different zones of southern Chile, and are becoming a serious threat to this industry. Prevalence and abundance levels were found to be generally high, decreasing in southern zones.