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Farmed Fish Losses to Scaup Quantified
Posted on 7/17/2019 by National Aquaculture Association
Avian predators cause serious losses on fish farms. The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center has an on-going project that is measuring the predation risk and economic effects of lesser scaup on baitfish farms and of cormorants on catfish farms. The project team is led by Dr. Luke Roy (Auburn University) with team members including Dr. Anita Kelly (Auburn University), Dr. Brian Davis (Mississippi State University), Dr. Brian Dorr (USDA/WS National Wildlife Research Center), and Dr. Carole Engle, Dr. Jonathan van Senten, and Dr. Michael Schwarz (Virginia Tech University). The project work has included intensive field data collection on the numbers of birds feeding on fish farms, the volume of fish consumed on fish farms, and the economic effects of bird-scaring costs combined with the value of the fish losses.
A first fact sheet has been published that summarizes the losses on golden shiner farms due to predation by scaup. As the project progresses and additional analyses are completed, additional fact sheets and other materials will become available. The fact sheet can be read or downloaded from: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/AAEC/AAEC-191/AAEC-191.html.
Baitfish farms that would like to add scaup or increase the scaup number on their individual bird depredation permit can use this information to request changes. Information concerning permitting can be found here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage/operational-activities/ct_federal_permit_process.