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sector_ico_Fisheries_trans Fisheries & Aquaculture

Genomic Tools for Fisheries Management (FishMan Omics)

106GFM
  • Project Leaders: Kristi Miller-Saunders
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $5294328
  • Program/Competition: Applied Genomics Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

The long-term viability of the wild salmon industry, worth hundreds of millions of dollars in BC, has been threatened recently by extreme variability in annual returns and declines in abundance. Critical to maintaining and sustaining the salmon fishing industry under the present climate change scenario is the need for scientific information on the physiological adaptability of salmon stocks to shifting environmental conditions. This study has addressed the above need by looking at the condition of salmon and impacts of condition on survival. As such, this project played a key role in development of models to explain poor salmon returns. A major outcome of this study was the genomic evidence of a powerful fate-associated signature associated with mortality at multiple life-history stages. The investigators hypothesize this signature is associated with a response to a novel viral pathogen. The project also provided evidence that temperature, nutritional deprivation, and hypoxia play a role in these mortalities As a result of these findings, DFO initiated a broad scale disease research program on migrating sockeye salmon that began in May 2011. Furthermore, Dr. Miller was interviewed by Inquiry lawyers and testified before the Cohen Inquiry in 2012. The genomic research program continued to garner significant public and media interest after the Cohen Inquiry. This level of exposure and interest may enhance end user uptake of the knowledge and tools developed in this study.