15th October

Publisher apologises to Marine Institute for contentious sea-lice article

A controversial article in a prestigious scientific journal that accuses the Marine Institute of ‘incorrectly’ concluding that sea lice play a minor role in the survival of wild salmon, has been downgraded significantly by its publishers who have also apologised to the agency for denying it a right of reply prior to publication.

This is the latest twist in what has been a highly charged debate involving some of Ireland’s environmental State Agencies as well as the scientific community here and abroad.

 Sea louse under the microscope

 Sea louse under the microscope

First published in August 2013 in the widely respected Journal of Fish Diseases, the article, written by a team of scientists led by Dr Martin Krkosek of the University of Toronto alleges that based on its own research, the Marine Institute incorrectly concluded ‘that sea lice play a minor, perhaps even negligible, role in salmon survival’.

Now however, just four months after it first appeared in the Journal of Fish Diseases as a ‘Short Communication’, the Krkosek article has been re-published by the same journal - but this time it has been re-classified, and effectively downgraded to a ‘Comment’.

Such a re-classification is highly significant in the scientific world due to the fact that Comments are not subject to the so-called peer review process where strict protocols are observed.


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