An environmental watchdog is offering more ammunition against net pen salmon farms.

The Clayoquot Action group has been monitoring the Cermaq salmon operations in Clayoquot Sound, which is home to about 20 farms.

The group has obtained images of juvenile salmon with heavy sea lice infestations. 

Cermaq recently applied for government approval to use a new pesticide to combat the lice. 

The watchdog points out this won’t help the young wild populations.

“They’re not supposed to be coming into contact with sea lice at that age and so a lice load of one-and-a-half to two lice per baby salmon will actually be a death sentence for them,” said Bonny Glambeck with the Clayoquot Action campaign. “This will kill these fish, the fish that we’re seeing in these videos and photographs will not survive to spawn.”

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans was recently chastised in a report for failing to properly monitor ocean industries.

The Clayoquot group says fish farms globally are moving inland to contain the spread of the disease.