Exploring the causes of Red Vent Syndrome in wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from coastal waters around Scotland

  This research will make direct comparisons of δ13C and δ15N isotope values from muscle tissue between populations of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) returning to the North, East and West coasts of Scotland. This work will investigate whether returning populations of S. salar can be distinguished through their δ13C and δ15N isotope values driven by geographic differences in exploited feeding grounds, and available dietary items. It will also combine stable isotope ratios with parasite abundance data within S. salar to investigate any correlation between geographic differences in dietary inputs, and the risk of accumulating a larger parasite load within the potentially different feeding grounds. A higher parasitic burden, specifically of the parasitic nematode Anisakis simplex, may be a potential driver for the emergence of the Red Vent Syndrome in wild S. salar and this study will examine whether variation in stable isotope ratios resulting from marine feeding correlates with parasite burden.

  • Start Date:

    1 July 2016

  • End Date:

    30 June 2017

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Natural Environment Research Council

Project Team