New seabed mon­i­tor­ing may un­lock growth

Fish Farmer - - News -

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.

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