SARF097: Plugging the Gaps - Improving Our knowledge of How Predators Impact Salmon Farms

Start Date: 15th October 2013
End Date: 31st December 2015
Main Contractor(s): Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews
Other Sponsor(s):  


1)     Record observations of seals taking salmon from fish cages using underwater video monitoring system: describe tactics used to remove fish.

2)     Examine net deformations in high tidal current sites to better understand net structure and fish behaviour under current induced cage deformation: determine nature and extend of bagging.

3)     Train captive seals to take fish through the meshes of a net in order to:

  1. Quantify forces that seals may exert for a reward
  2. Describe behaviour associated with extracting fish through grower mesh and other mesh types

4)     Review existing literature and collate further industry information and anecdotes on:

  1. modes of predator attack (including mink and otters)
  2. net holes and depredation events in relation to net and site characteristics

Synthesise with results of 1-3 above and evaluate potential means of minimising predator attacks.


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