Member Highlight: New Study Finds Offshore Aquaculture Has Low Environmental Impact

2019-07-29T18:19:22+00:00 July 22, 2019|
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0))

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0))

UM Rosenstiel School researchers monitor nutrient footprint from offshore aquaculture

(From University of Miami/ By Diana Udel) — A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found minimal environmental impacts to the surrounding waters from a major commercial fish-farming operation off the coast of Panama.

Researchers collected water samples at one upstream and three downstream locations from the submerged fish cages to investigate if there was significant or cumulative impacts resulting from locating fish farms offshore. Sediment samples were also collected to evaluate the effects of the aquaculture facility on the seafloor.

The data revealed that only small amounts of nutrients are released from the farm and demonstrated that when appropriately sited, commercially scaled offshore aquaculture installations have the potential to operate in a way that produces a relatively small pollution footprint. The results also showed that any impacts from offshore fish farming are minimal compared to all other forms of animal protein production for human consumption.

“We must produce 30 million metric tons of seafood to keep up with human population growth and increasing consumption of seafood – and the open ocean appears to be the best if not the only…

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