Assessing Benthic Impacts of Organic Enrichment from Marine Aquaculture
- Cite this article as:
- Hargrave, B., Phillips, G., Doucette, L. et al. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (1997) 99: 641. doi:10.1023/A:1018332632372
Benthic observations were carried out at 22 stations in the Western Isles region of the Bay of Fundy on the east coast of Canada to evaluate impacts at salmon aquaculture sites. Eleven sites were located under salmon net-pens and 11 sites (reference or control locations) were at distances > 50 m from net-pens. Total S- and redox potential (Eh) in surface sediment and benthic O2 uptake and CO2 release were sensitive indicators of benthic organic enrichment. High variability between replicate measurements of sediment gas exchange could reflect spatial patchiness in sedimentation of fecal waste and food pellets under fish pens. Biomass of deposit feeders was significantly increased at cage sites but total macrofauna biomass was similar at cage and reference locations. Surface sediment water content, modal grain size, pore water salinity and sulfate, and total biomass of macrofauna were the least sensitive indicators of enrichment.