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Mathematical model ofLaminaria production near a British Columbian salmon sea cage farm

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The technical and economical feasibility of farmingLaminaria saccharina for a food base product near a salmon sea cage farm was evaluated. Suitability of kelp for nutrient removal was also analyzed. A computer model of a conceptualized system was developed in order to make the assessments. Kelp growth was modelled as a linear function of temperature and background dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration, and it was partially experimentally validated. Based on model simulations, aLaminaria farm containing 10,60 m ropes on each end of a salmon sea cage farm is fertilized by the salmon farm and yields annually 1600 kg of dried kelp. The payback period for the initial investment of $61 × 103 is 6 years after which an annual net profit of 20 × 103 Canadian dollars ($16.68 × 103 US) can be achieved. The net present worth of the kelp farm was positive for a rate of return up to 25%. Kelp production on multiple salmon farms or at a higher kelp density could increase the overall revenue.

The kelp farm does not appreciably affect background nutrient or oxygen levels. With a few modifications in the model,Nereocystis andMacrocystis farming can be substituted and evaluated for feasibility and nutrient removal efficiency.

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Petrell, R.J., Tabrizi, K.M., Harrison, P.J. et al. Mathematical model ofLaminaria production near a British Columbian salmon sea cage farm. J Appl Phycol 5, 1–14 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02182416

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Key words

  • integrated culture
  • kelp
  • salmon
  • growth
  • economics
  • nutrient uptake