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Project description

Environmental responses to organic and inorganic effluents from fin-fish Aquaculture (ERA).

This strategic initiative (SI) address the potential impact of organic and inorganic effluents from large fish farms on coastal ecosystems. The main objectives were to increase competence by developing scientific knowledge and tools, and to modify and validate existing models to provide better tools for predicting the dispersion of aquaculture effluents and the responses of flora and fauna in the coastal zone.

This strategic initiative (SI) address the potential impact of organic and inorganic effluents from large fish farms on coastal ecosystems. The main objectives were to increase competence by developing scientific knowledge and tools, and to modify and validate existing models to provide better tools for predicting the dispersion of aquaculture effluents and the responses of flora and fauna in the coastal zone.

The project also aims to develop a generic toolbox of traditional (i.e. fatty acids and stable isotopes) and novel (i.e. molecular and trace minerals) tracers to detect the integration of effluents in sediments and biota. Additionally, the project will determine the effects of organic and inorganic effluents on the structure and functioning of dynamic coastal habitats from seaweed communities to deeper benthic habitats with hard and mixed bottom substrates.

The project will provide new information on the effects of organic and inorganic effluents released from large scale fish farms on marine ecosystems, specifically new vulnerable habitat types. Results obtained from this SI will be vital for developing new predictive modelling tools that can be incorporated into GIS-based decision support systems like AkvaVis. This will improve existing and future management advice for environmental managers and relevant stakeholders.