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Investigating temporal variability in macrofaunal recovery processes during fallow periods at finfish aquaculture sites in Newfoundland



At Atlantic Salmon sites in Newfoundland, fallowing occurs for a minimum of 12 months after two production years in order to allow benthic habitats to recover and return to their natural chemical and biological states. Remediation processes at these sites are poorly understood, as most sites are located in deep waters (>100 m) with hard bottom substrates and low current velocities. Information on fallowing from shallow waters and for soft substrate sites is not transferable to Newfoundland sites.

In this study, salmon aquaculture sites along the south coast of Newfoundland are being monitored with video transect sampling of the benthos to determine biological recovery rates and identify important remediation processes. Repeated sampling of a number of sites during the fallow period will determine changes in the distribution of opportunistic species (Beggiatoa mats, opportunistic polychaete complexes) and other potential indicators of habitat quality on hard substrates (offgasing, macrofauna density). A reference site is also monitored at regular intervals to compare benthic processes at fallowed and unused sites.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2011 - 2011


Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves

Principal Investigator(s)

Dounia Hamoutene

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