The object of the research is to gain a better understanding of the relationships between water movements, dissolved oxygen fluctuations fish health and performance in intensive mariculture.
The project will be divided into two phases of complimentary field and laboratory studies.
Field study: At selected marine fish farm sites in Scotland and Greece, a detailed investigation will be made into water exchange between the surrounding water body and net pens using sophisticated current measuring devices.
Hydrodynamics data will be correlated with simultaneous measurements of dissolved oxygen concentration, temperature, weather and husbandry activity. Fish health will be estimated from histological examination of tissue samples and from performance records; these data will be used to test and enhance the respirometer equation which balances the import of oxygen by currents, the consumption of oxygen by the fish and the change of total oxygen in the cage. This model will be used to predict holding capacities of fish farm sites based on predicted oxygen minima and consequent danger to fish health.
Laboratory study: this study will examine the stress on commercially important species induced by reduced oxygen. The species chosen for the study are Salmo salar and Dicentrarchus labrax . Threshold values will be determined for both species with respect to reduced oxygen. In addition the effects of sudden drops in dissolved oxygen will be assessed. Data from this study will be used when refining the respiration model.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts