It turns out sea lice were wrongly accused in the deaths of millions of pink salmon in BC in 2002. While a joint study by researchers in British Columbia, Alaska, and California shows sea lice were not to blame, scientists were not able to determine what did cause the deaths.
Area fish farms provided researchers with information about their operations for the first time. Researcher Gary Marty concluded most of the sea lice found on young salmon originated from nearby fish farms. But Marty notes there were far more of the parasites the previous year, and yet that year the salmon returned in record numbers.
However a biologist who has studied the region's sea life for decades denounces the report as highly political and outgrageous. Alexandra Morton says experts who have 10 years experience in the area remain convinced sea lice had a key roile in the salmon deaths.