Sure. I really do believe that the FIT-CHIPs will give us the new resolution that we've never had before. Previously, we could go out and measure temperatures, and we could go out and measure environmental conditions, and we could surmise that they might be impactful on salmon. The FIT-CHIPs actually offer an opportunity to look at the salmon themselves and allow the genomic signatures of the salmon to speak for themselves. We can actually tell when the salmon is experiencing thermal stress: not just that they're in a high-temperature area, but whether they're actually feeling the stress of the environment.
The point of the FIT-CHIPs is to better understand the interconnection between different kinds of stressors and diseases. If you can understand whether they're cumulative, which means that they're additive, or they're synergistic, which means that they could be multiplicative so that you have one stressor and you have another stressor and they're 10 times more powerful when they're together, when you have that kind of information, you're able to ask what would happen if you just removed one of those.
We can't remove all of the stressors, but if we can target the stressors that we can mitigate and we can understand how they interplay with each other, we can be better informed as to what strategies we can take to reverse the declines, to actually develop a measure to increase survival substantially.
The other thing they allow us to do is identify the habitats that are most impactful in terms of stress: Where is the stress hot spot occurring? Then we can target our mitigative actions to those areas. I know that we've done a lot of work in freshwater systems, and I cannot emphasize enough that the early marine rearing environment, where many of our stocks spend up to a year, is also critical and that we need to be looking at what we can do there.