Caligus rogercresseyi is a copepod that represents one of the main challenges of the salmon farming industry in Chile, since it profusely affects the skin. It should be noted that fish in freshwater and estuaries are not affected, unlike salmon, which from post-smolt is highly parasitized when transferred to the sea. Multiple studies have been carried out on the life cycle of the parasite and chemical, physical and mechanical treatments have been developed to eliminate them. However, to date, the treatments have not been effective, which produces a permanent problem for the welfare of the animal. The purpose of this study was to recognize the biostructure of Atlantic salmon caudal fin skin at sites of interaction with chalimus. For this, 15 post-smolt infected with Caligus and 5 post-smolt controls, without Caligus, were used. The salmon were provided by Fundación Chile and the experience was carried out in its own experimental center. Once the euthanasia was carried out, by means of an overdose of the anesthetic benzocaine, samples of the caudal fins were obtained, which were fixed in 10 % formalin, included in paraplast to make 5 μm-thick sections and stained with Masson's Trichrome and PAS. The results indicated that the skin of the caudal fin of the affected post-smolt presented a greater height of the epidermis, few mucus-secreting cells and a solution of continuity in the epidermis. In addition, the basement membrane is discontinued and an increase in melanomacrophages occurs in the dermis.
KEY WORD: Skin; Caudal fin; Atlantic salmon; Chalimus stage; Caligus rogercresseyi.