Life is about to get a little harder for all the salmon lovers out there.
Two of the world’s largest exporters of salmon , Norway and Scotland, have recently seen their farms overrun by sea lice. Unlike typical lice, these parasites are feeding on the blood and skin of the salmon they’re infecting.
At the same time, millions of salmon have been killed off in Chile thanks to a toxic algae bloom.
Unfortunately for anyone who enjoys salmon on a regular basis, supply and price is only expected to get worse in the future, with portions getting smaller as price goes up.
Fish farms would typically be a solution that could produce enough salmon to keep the prices down, but the larger the farm the more prone it is to being devastated by sea lice.
Perhaps the worse thing out of all if this is the fact that sea lice can survive for three weeks without being attached to a host. That means sea lice aren’t just dangerous to farmed fish, they could eventually start to overrun wild salmon populations if this issue isn’t taken care of.
“When the industry was new, salmon farms were accused of polluting the oceans, spreading sea lice, fostering disease, allowing escapees and depleting the stocks of forage fish, up to seven pounds of which went into each pound of farmed Atlantic salmon,” Tamar Haspel of the Washington Post wrote. “All of those accusations were true in some locales, and some were true in all.”