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Organic Consumers Association

Fish Farms Begin Use of New Pesticide

New Brunswick salmon farmers have started the use of a restricted pesticide that fights sea lice on farmed Atlantic salmon.

The aquaculture industry faced questions in recent weeks when it was revealed that companies could use Alphamax to battle sea lice, which are parasites that attach themselves to salmon.

Alphamax, which has been approved for use between October and December of this year, contains a chemical called deltamethrin. Health Canada advises the chemical does not pose a risk to human health or the environment when it's used according to the label directions and under the federal agency's conditions.

Alphamax is restricted to cages that are covered by tarps or contained areas called well boats, where fish are given a bath in the deltamethrin treatment.

The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association invited reporters out for a salmon farm tour in Passamaquoddy Bay on Wednesday.

At an aquaculture site at Hardwood Island, fish are pumped into a well, where a mixture of the pesticide and sea water is then flushed in.

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