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Sea Lice Infects Fish Farms, Kills Wild Salmon

Not only does mercury take its harmful toll on fish -- once upon a time among the healthiest foods one could eat -- so does farming them.

Unfortunately, scientists are finally getting a clue about thedevastating effect of fish farming. The sea lice growing in adultfarmed salmon kills almost all the wild juvenile salmon that migratepast fish farms during certain times of the year, according to theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a natural setting, adult salmon infected by sea lice wouldalready be far away from shorelines before juvenile salmon migrate outto sea. Fish farms, however, place adult salmon in pens along migrationroutes, creating clouds of sea lice that juveniles must navigatethrough. It takes only one or two sea lice to kill a juvenile salmon.

Moreover, during the time in the migration season when the sea lice population was at its highest, as much as 95 percent of the juvenile salmon was eliminated, provoking concerns from one expert about the prospect of creating a human disease via practices like fish farming.

What all of this means to you: Unless the salmon you purchase has been lab-tested and free of contaminants, protect your health by avoiding it.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences October 4, 2006 Free Full Text PDF

Science Daily October 3, 2006

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