New seabed monitoring may unlock growth
A COLLABORATIVE project to improve understanding of the effects of salmon farming on the seabed in high energy waters is underway in Orkney, with co-funding from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).
The three-year project, which sees Cooke Aquaculture Scotland partner with researchers from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, will inform the environmental monitoring and management of more exposed sites and, potentially, unlock additional capacity.
Currently, the benthic impacts of salmon farming – the impact of fish waste or uneaten feed on the seabed – are monitored by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), using the DEPOMOD model, which is based largely on data gathered from sheltered, inshore sea lochs. However, at more exposed sites, where this same waste matter is dispersed more widely by strong tides, the benthic impacts can differ significantly.