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Aquaculture-Environment Interactions: energy transfer from marine aquaculture to the ecosystem



The effects of finfish and shellfish aquaculture on the environment include the release of farm nutrients (wastes and farmed organisms), which may modify benthic and pelagic ecosystems. Nutrients released by farms may be assimilated by primary producers and organic matter may be assimilated by consumers up the food chain. However, these effects have rarely been studied. Bivalve farm interactions with the environment typically concentrate on the open waters (pelagic) and sea floor (benthic) changes. Finfish farm interactions typically concentrate on benthic and wild fish changes. How energy is transferred from aquaculture systems into the greater ecosystem is poorly understood. Building on a series of ongoing studies, this project will evaluate the transfer of energy from aquaculture systems through the benthic food web to fisheries-important species. PARR-2016-Q-16 will use laboratory experiments, observational and manipulative field experiments, and modeling approaches to better understand how fisheries resources are affected by both shellfish and finfish aquaculture operations in both eastern Canada and France.





Program name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)



Principal investigator

Chris McKindsey
Research scientist, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, QC

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