1) Recent research has demonstrated that conditions experienced by salmonids within freshwater may have a direct impact on the survival of the fish once they enter the marine environment.
2) Furthermore, the mortality of Atlantic salmon smolts can exceed 60% during the transition period from freshwater, through estuaries to coastal waters.
3) Additional marine mortality may also occur after departure from coastal waters as the result of sea lice infestations.
4) Thus, significant population-limiting mecha nisms are operating during the early marine phase of the life cycle of Atlantic salmon.
5) The principal objective of the project is to understand and describe the factors limiting salmon populations during the early marine phase of the life cycle.
6) Increased knowledge about the function and interactions of these mechanisms will significantly contribute to the future sustainability of Atlantic salmon populations through development of improved mitigating actions and management strategies