Saturday, September 26, 2020

New Paper: Parasite life cycles and mariculture

I got my start in an aquaculture-related field, although it was culturing endangered aquatic species rather than commercial ones. Over the last five years I've had the opportunity to explore another passion of mine - the complex life cycles of marine parasites. Well, in one of my recently released papers, I got to do a pretty nice mashup of those two concepts:

Huston, D.C., Ogawa, K., Shirakashi, S. & Nowak, B.F. 2020. Metazoan Parasite life cycles: significance for fish mariculure. Trends in Parasitology. DOI:

Aquaculture is expanding rapidly offshore into the sea and open oceans (aka mariculture). One of the most popular methods being employed by the finfish industry is the use of suspended cages or net pens moored offshore which allow constant water exchange for the farmed fish. This seems to be working great for a lot of reasons, but it does allow parasites to rather easily enter the net pens. 

In our paper we discuss how a renewed focus on basic parasite biology, especially life-cycle characteristics, can be used to manage parasitic infection in net-pen mariculture without the use of chemical treatment. We hope that our paper will renew interest in understanding basic aspects of marine parasite life-histories and promote research focused on elucidating parasite life cycles.

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