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Research Document - 2005/039

Benthic monitoring methods for habitat management of finfish mariculture in Canada

By Wildish, D.J., G.W. Pohle, B.T. Hargrave, T.F. Sutherland, M.R. Anderson


Selected environmental methods chosen to monitor organic enrichment from finfish mariculture sources include those based on macrofaunal taxa and abundance, total sulfide and zinc/copper concentrations in surficial sediments, U/W photo- and video-graphy, and dissolved oxygen in benthic boundary layer seawater. A wide range of parameters and methods to quantify them must be considered because of the variety of habitats on Canada’s west and east coasts. We considered methods that are fully accepted within the scientific community and readily available within Canada. The strengths and weaknesses of each method are assessed on the basis of the following criteria: type of sedimentary substrate, scientific defensibility, statistical testability, availability of thresholds and cost effectiveness.

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