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Effects of cage aquaculture on freshwater benthic communities



The project will look at whether the impacts to fish habitat in the high depositional area under freshwater farms, as measured by benthic community alteration, is off-set by enrichment effects observed distant to the farm. This will support the current Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Fisheries Protection Program practice of determining freshwater finfish farms to be low risk. Additionally, the project will generate knowledge of the community response of freshwater benthic invertebrates to a gradient of disturbance by organic enrichment. Specific objectives are:

  1. Taxonomic analysis of existing invertebrate samples collected along distance transects at commercial farms;
  2. Determination of individual and community biomass of individuals;
  3. Mapping of invertebrate abundance and biomass around the farm sites; and
  4. Spatial extrapolation of data from transects to determine relative losses/gains in biomass due to farms.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)


2011 - 2014


Central Canada: Lake Winnipeg, Nelson River Drainage Basin

Principal Investigator(s)

Cheryl Podemski
Freshwater Institute - 501 University Cr., Winnipeg, MB
Tel.: (204) 984-1775

Team Member(s)

Jian Zhang, DFO-Central and Arctic region

Megan Otu

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