This service is focused on assessing the impact of aquaculture activities on both the water column and the sea bed. The release of Nitrogen excretion and of organic matter, as uneaten feed particles and faeces, cause nutrient, namely Nitrogen and Phosphorus, and can lead to eutrophication of the water column as well as to alteration of the biogeochemistry of surface sediment. In turn, such impact can cause distress to algal populations and the benthic community.
Such impacts are, generally, more relevant for fish farms than for shellfish farms.
We have developed a set of tools for estimating the above impact in terms of:
– Dissolved Nitrogen and Phosphorus enrichment in the water column;
– Organic Matter enrichment of the surface sediment;
– Risk of anoxia in surface sediment
– Indicators of the state of the benthic community (AMBI)
Our models are spatially explicit and allow one to assess the extension of the most impacted area in relation to:
– husbandry data (feeding regime, feed composition, stocking density etc…)
– water temperature
– local hydrodynamic, to be determined by in situ field survey.
This information is extremely useful to both farmers, who can assess the risk of not being compliant with current regulations and plan cost-effective monitoring surveys, and regulators, when facing the issue of licensing new areas.
For more information, do not hesitate to contact us.