Seaweed could be answer to environmental challenges of fish-farming – Fishupdate.com

Seaweed could be answer to environmental challenges of fish-farming Published:  14 March, 2005

THE environmental impact of sea-cage fish farming could be significantly

reduced by the cultivation of seaweeds on site and provide a potentially

lucrative second income for fish farmers, says Dr Maeve Kelly from the

Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland.

Speaking in advance of the Aquaculture Today 2005 conference, taking

place in Edinburgh from the 13th to 14th April, where she will be

running a workshop on the topic of Integrated Aquaculture, Dr Kelly

said: “Fish excreta and waste fish food, primary components of the

matter lost from fish-farms to the environment, provide well balanced

nutrients for marine plant growth.

“At SAMS we are undertaking a project to assess the ability of

commercially important seaweeds, cultivated in the immediate vicinity of

caged fish, to reduce the impact of nutrient releases.

“Data from the project will also contribute to a model for the

distribution of dissolved contaminants from sea-cage fish farms to help

develop a predictive tool to assess the impact of introducing algal

cultivation at any site.

“By using seaweeds of commercial value, for potential consumption by

humans and for cultivated shellfish, the fish farmer could also generate

a second income. Market research into worldwide demand for seaweed for

use in products such as health foods, food ingredients, novel biomedical

and pharmaceutical products, suggest that supplies are often limited due

to a reliance on seaweeds picked from the wild, rather than cultivated.

“The enthusiasm of SAMS industrial partners in this project is testimony

to the face that there are more Scottish companies who believe there is

opportunity in seaweed cultivation.

“As part of this project we will also analyse the heavy metal content of

the cultured seaweeds to ensure levels are well within those recommended

by the Food Standards Agency and similar overseas agencies, for human

consumption.”

Delegates can attend the SAMS Ardtoe workshop only for a special

promotional rate of £160 exc VAT, with a special student discount taking

the price for the workshop only down to £30 exc VAT.

Aquaculture Today is the only UK-based aquaculture conference covering

all aquaculture sectors; salmonids, shellfish, marine fin-fish and other

species. The conference will explore a number of key issues affecting

aquaculture businesses including the regulatory environment for

aquaculture, environmental responsibilities, aquatic animal health and

aquaculture markets.

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