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Perceived risk of altering the trophic status of lakes is currently limiting the development of Canadian freshwater aquaculture. This perception persists despite the operation of fish farms and extensive environmental monitoring by farms in the North Channel for more than 20 years. They have yet to document detectable increases in nutrient concentrations. At the same time there is a lack of sound scientific knowledge regarding aquaculture's potential effects on receiving waters and sediments.
Organic loading from fish cage farms increases the total nutrient content of the sediments and it can also increase the concentration of soluble forms that can be released into the overlying water. However, the fate of those nutrients (burial or release back to the water column) and the factors regulating that fate in sediments affected by aquaculture wastes are poorly understood. Researchers are conducting investigations to quantify the effects of sediment chemistry and water temperature on the nutrient release rates from the sediments affected by fish wastes.
Duration: Mar 07– Mar 08
Funded by: DFO-ACRDP. Co-funded by: Aqua-cage Fisheries Ltd
Project team: Paula Azevedo (DFO), Cheryl Podemski (DFO), M. Robin Anderson (DFO), Gord Cole (Aqua-cage Fisheries Ltd)
For information contact: Paula Azevedo (Paula.Azevedo@dfo-mpo.gc.ca)