Salmon Parasite Interactions in Linnhe, Lorn and Shuna (SPILLS): final project report

The Salmon Parasite in Linnhe, Lorn and Shuna (SPILLS) project focused on testing and improving sea lice dispersal monitoring and modelling techniques. The SPILLS Project developed and compared different models designed to predict distribution of sea lice in Scottish sea lochs.

Annex 3 - Research use and dissemination

Potential impact and main dissemination activities / exploitation of results

The Crown Estate Scotland has an Action (2020-23 Corporate Plan) to "Help create and deliver overarching vision for Scotland's blue economy, in line with Scottish Ministers' purpose". One of the Scottish Government's Blue Economy Vision outcomes states that "Scotland's marine ecosystems are healthy and functioning, with nature protected and activities managed using an ecosystem-based approach to ensure negative impacts on marine ecosystems are minimised and, where possible, reversed". The work carried out in the SPILLS project contributes to the new aquaculture management framework to minimise any negative impact of sea lice from fish farms adversely impacting wild salmonid populations. In such a framework, numerical modelling will play an important role – initially within the pre-screening process and subsequently for detailed impact modelling where required. Through these different stages, the suitability of the modelling tools will be scrutinised by stakeholders, industry and regulators. This project has provided the most detailed test of modelling tools in Scotland (in their individual components) against the best available observational datasets, and has been accompanied by substantial developments of model components and how modelling results are analysed and displayed. In addition to the project results, we have identified a number of sensitivities, knowledge gaps and future research and development opportunities. These will be pursued through future work and the complementary "Model tools for a spatial management framework for sustainable aquaculture development" CES-MS Priority Project (C45500), which has contributed significantly to elements of the sensitivity analyses in SPILLS and is investigating other aspects of model sensitivity.

Scientific and technical results

Project Website

Salmon Parasite Interactions in Linnhe, Lorn, and Shuna (SPILLS) | Marine Scotland Information



  • Argyll Fisheries Trust, 2021. Sea lice burdens of sea trout at Sound of Shuna, Argyll, 2021.
  • Gillibrand, PA. Moriarty M., Brain S. (2023) Final Report: Sea Lice Dispersal Modelling in Shuna Sound
  • Moriarty M., O'Hara Murray R. Rabe B., Brain S. Gillibrand PA., Gallego A. (2023) Final Report: Model inter-comparison and validation in Inner and Outer Loch Linnhe.
  • Reinardy, H. Last, K., Brunner L., Twigg, G., McLeod, E., Ofori, A., Stollberg, I., Reed S., Gillibrand PA (2023) Final report on sampling and analyses of sea lice larvae in Shuna Sound (I), and sampling of sea lice on wild fish in Shuna Sound (II)



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