The scientific principles underlying the monitoring of the environmental impacts of aquaculture
Authors: Fernandes; Eleftheriou; Ackefors; Eleftheriou; Ervik; Sanchez-Mata; Scanlon; White; Cochrane; Pearson; Read
Source: Journal of Applied Ichthyology, Volume 17, Number 4, August 2001 , pp. 181-193(13)
This paper provides a critical review of the main issues regarding the scientific principles underlying environmental monitoring of marine aquaculture operations and makes recommendations relevant to the implementation of best practice for the management of aquaculture in Europe. Given that a variety of cultured species and approaches are adopted in Europe, it is not possible, or indeed desirable, to devise prescriptive guidelines. Instead, this paper reviews how science informs monitoring and provides a framework for the development of a monitoring strategy of marine aquaculture operations that is flexible enough to be applicable to a variety of locations, species and situations.
Traditionally environmental monitoring has concentrated on a few key physical and chemical variables and organisms. The trend now, however, is towards whole-system environmental assessment (e.g. CEC 2000; Osparcom 1998), including considerations of the assimilative capacity of specific systems and their ability to absorb and dilute perturbations. Against this background this paper addresses the following specific objectives:
review of the rationale and scientific principles underlying current environmental monitoring with specific reference to marine aquaculture;
evaluation of the links between monitoring and regulatory criteria, specifically consideration of environmental quality objectives and environmental quality standards, and the role of environmental impact assessment;
assessment of the role of codes of best conduct and practice, and environmental management systems in the management of aquaculture operations.
The paper concludes by proposing a set of recommendations which will contribute towards the sustainable management of aquaculture operations, through the implementation of a more focused approach to environmental monitoring.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2001-08-01