bechmann - iris - pandalus borealis
Photo: IRIS

New project on Environmental effects of aquaculture


IRIS Environment will study how salmon lice medicine affects the marine environment near fish farms.The increasing use of chemicals to treat farmed salmon against salmon lice is a concern for the authorities, the aquaculture, coastal fisheries and the public

The project  PestPuls will provide valuable new information about how a keystone species in the marine ecosystem, the commercially and culinary important northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) responds to repeated pulse exposures to combinations of pesticides used for delousing salmon.

Marine organisms living in areas with salmon farms could be exposed repeatedly to mixtures of pesticides. Since data on repeated pulse or fluctuating exposures are very rare in the literature, we will investigate the effects of two combination treatments recommended for efficient delousing in Norwegian salmon farms: a combination of the commercial formulations AlphaMax (deltamethrin) and Salmosan (azamethiphos), and a combination of Paramove (hydrogen peroxide) and the in-feed drug Releeze (diflubenzuron).
Two large multi-stressor laboratory experiments with different life stages of shrimps will be performed. A recovery period with optimal or low food levels (natural stressor) is included to investigate potential delayed effects of the exposure. In parallel to the shrimp experiments, we will evaluate if blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) are sensitive enough to be used for monitoring discharges of the tested chemicals by using valve gape behavior and accumulation of pesticides. Data from the shrimp experiments will be used for modelling mixtures effects at the individual and population level.

PestPuls will provide new knowledge about whether the practice of using combinations of chemicals for delousing farmed salmon will lead to unforeseen negative effects on non-target crustaceans exposed to realistic dilutions of treatment water.

IRIS is leading the project and will perform all the laboratory experiments and NIVA will be responsible for all chemical analyses and cooperate with IRIS and our international partner Tjalling Jager from DEBtox Research on the modelling work.
Les Burridge (Burridge Consulting Inc., Canada) will be our international scientific advisor and Paul Seear from the University of Leicester will do genomics on the shrimp. In addition, an advisory board with representatives from the authorities, the aquaculture industry and the Norwegian fishermen’s association included in the project. The members of the board will be given regular updates on the progress in the project, and be invited to comment and give advice.

Project leader in IRIS: Renee Bechmann

The Project is funded by the Research Council of Norway
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