Case definitions for skin lesion syndromes in Chinook salmon farmed in marlborough sounds, New Zealand.
Skin lesions are commonly reported in farmed salmonids. Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), introduced from California USA, is the only salmonid species commercially farmed in New Zealand, although trout are cultured for release by Fish and Game New Zealand. There are several farming areas in New Zealand, including Marlborough Sounds, Canterbury and Stewart Island. While the industry has not been affected by any of the major production diseases seen internationally, skin lesions have been recorded with an increase in prevalence from 2012 onwards in the Marlborough Sounds and were associated with elevated summer mortalities on farms in 2015. Here we are proposing case definitions for different types of skin lesions for future monitoring and research. Based on our current understanding of the above skin conditions, we developed case definitions for spots, spreading spots, ulcerated spreading spots and Regular Outline Flank Ulcers defining a positive case for three study units, including individual fish, pen/unit and farm.