Use of therapeutants

Fisheries and Oceans Canada makes information available to the public on the annual use of therapeutants at marine finfish aquaculture facilities in British Columbia.

The deposits of drugs and pesticides are reported to the Department as a requirement of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations (AAR). More information on site-specific deposits and requirements of the AAR can be found on the National Aquaculture Public Reporting Data page.

Use of antibacterials

Use of antibacterials

This graph shows the use of antibacterial agents in medicated feeds, represented as grams of active antibacterial per tonne of salmon produced (not the amount of drug administered). All antibacterial treatments are prescribed by a licensed veterinarian and administered following the policies and guidelines of the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia.

All treatments must be reported to DFO, and detailed records must be kept on site and available for review by DFO biologists and veterinarians. Details on individual treatments, including veterinary diagnoses can be found in DFO’s Fish health events report.

There has been a general decline in antibacterial use in BC and in other salmon farming regions of the world. This is attributed to the introduction of more effective vaccines for bacterial diseases and other advances in health management.

The blue line denotes tonnes of salmon produced and is calculated using the annual Aquaculture production quantities and value report.

Graph: Use of antibacterials at marine finfish aquaculture facilities in British Columbia, 1995 - 2019

Graph: Use of antibacterials at marine finfish aquaculture facilities in British Columbia, 1995 - 2019

Long text version

Use of antibacterials at marine finfish aquaculture facilities in British Columbia, 1995 - 2019

Year Grams of antibacterials per tonne of salmon produced Round weight of salmon produced (tonnes)
1901012019 94 88790
1801012018 139 86853
1701012017 56 85349
1601012016 51 90511
1501012015 156 92416
1401012014 88 62493
1301012013 94 65930
1201012012 69 74000
1101012011 42 83000
1001012010 73 79000
0901012009 67 76300
0801012008 68 81400
0701012007 109 78886
0601012006 102 81406
0501012005 227 70590
0401012004 337 61800
0301012003 340 72700
0201012002 242 85400
0101012001 165 67600
0010012000 342 49400
0009011999 268 48100
0008011998 383 43700
0007011997 516 37375
0006011996 336 27600
0005011995 456 27370
Use of delousing agents

Use of of delousing agents

This graph shows the use of delousing agents in BC salmon aquaculture–including ivermectin, emamectin benzoate, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)–as a proportion of harvested biomass. Emamectin benzoate and ivermectin are administered as in-feed treatments and H2O2 is delivered as a bath treatment, usually in a well boat. Under the Integrated Pest Management Act (IMPA) and Regulations, a Pesticide Use Permit must be obtained from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for use of H2O2 treatment. .

The use of the prescription drug ivermectin was discontinued after the year 2000, when emamectin benzoate, the active chemical of the in-feed product commercially known as SLICE®, became available. SLICE has been approved by Health Canada and is deemed to present little risk to the health of fish, humans and the environment. It is administered to farmed fish under veterinary prescription. At this time, SLICE is the only practical and available in-feed drug to manage sea lice on farmed salmon in BC.

Government and salmon producers are implementing a more sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to sea lice management in BC. IPM emphasizes area-based management and the use of non-medicinal alternatives, such as low-risk freshwater baths and mechanical removal techniques, to manage sea lice in aquaculture facilities while protecting adjacent ecosystems and species.

Graph: Use of delousing therapeutants at Atlantic salmon aquaculture facilities in British Columbia, 1996 - 2019

Graph: Use of delousing therapeutants at Atlantic salmon aquaculture facilities in British Columbia, 1996 - 2019

Long text version

Use of antibacterials at marine finfish aquaculture facilities in British Columbia, 1995 - 2019

Year Grams of active Ivermectin per tonne of salmon produced Grams of active Emamectin Benzoate per tonne of salmon produced Kilograms of H2O2 per tonne of salmon produced
1901012019 0.386 3.633
1801012018 0.242 3.138
1701012017 0.297 3.346
1601012016 0.234 1.938
1501012015 0.347 0.572
1401012014 0.383 0.313
1301012013 0.301
1201012012 0.186
1101012011 0.263
1001012010 0.266
0901012009 0.167
0801012008 0.214
0701012007 0.147
0601012006 0.214
0501012005 0.345
0401012004 0.208
0301012003 0.127
0201012002 0.122
0101012001 0.000 0.074
0010012000 0.006 0.062
0009011999 0.002
0008011998 0.011
0007011997 0.014
0006011996 0.029