Economic Effects of Global Warming: The Impact on the Life Cycle of Salmon Lice, With Knock-on Effects on Aquaculture and Angling Tourism
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Salmon lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, is a parasitic copepod endemic to Atlantic salmon. In recent year salmon aquaculture has created large breeding grounds for this parasite, as well as acting as a vector for infection on wild salmon. This has caused serious problems for both salmon aquaculture and angling tourism. In this thesis we examine how global climate change will affect the salmon lice problem, with emphasis on the economic impact. In our thesis we use temperature projections combined with models of salmon lice infection pressure for quantitative data on the effects of climate change on the salmon lice problem. We tested several scenarios and variations to see if any of them had a disproportionate impact. This was followed by a qualitative analysis of the wider economic impact. Our study shows there will indeed be increased infection pressure from salmon lice. This will negatively affect salmon aquaculture, as well as both entrepreneurs and local communities that depend on salmon angling tourism. Knock-on effects may even include lower property prices on salmon rivers. We further argue this is could cause stricter regulation of salmon aquaculture, as well as increased conflict between aquaculture and angling tourism stakeholders. Additionally, we briefly discuss some proposed technological and regulatory solutions to the various problems arising from salmon lice infections.
Master's thesis in Industrial Economics