Benthic communities of artificial structures: effects of mariculture in the Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat) on development and bioaccumulation
Net pen finfish farms release large quantities of organic particles and dissolved nutrients to the surrounding waters. The present study addresses the possibility of harvesting some of these effluents in order to reduce environmental impacts. Experimental mid-water artificial structures (plastic mesh cylinders) were deployed adjacent to a sea bream fish farm in the northern Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, and at a nearby reference site in order to observe whether the biofouling communities that developed on these were different in terms of biomass, diversity, and species richness. The cylinders were sampled every other month for a period of 11 mo and we found significantly higher species richness and biomass at the fish farm than at the reference site throughout the study period. These results indicate that there is merit to using this approach to make net pen fish farming more environmentally sustainable.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 2006
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