Offshore aquaculture of finfish: Big expectations at sea



Morro B, Davidson K, Adams TP, Falconer L, Holloway M, Dale A, Aleynik D, Thies PR, Khalid F, Hardwick J, Smith H, Gillibrand PA & Rey‐Planellas S (2022) Offshore aquaculture of finfish: Big expectations at sea. Reviews in Aquaculture, 14 (2), pp. 791-815.

Offshore aquaculture has gained momentum in recent years, and the production of an increasing number of marine fish species is being relocated offshore. Initially, predictions of the advantages that offshore aquaculture would present over nearshore farming were made without enough science-based evidence. Now, with more scientific knowledge, this review revisits past predictions and expectations of offshore aquaculture. We analysed and explained the oceanographic features that define offshore and nearshore sites. Using Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) as a case study, we focussed on sea lice, amoebic gill disease, and the risk of harmful algal blooms, as well as the direct effects of the oceanography on the health and physiology of fish. The operational and licencing challenges and advantages of offshore aquaculture are also considered. The lack of space in increasingly saturated sheltered areas will push new farms out to offshore locations and, if appropriate steps are followed, offshore aquaculture can be successful. Firstly, the physical capabilities of the farmed fish species and infrastructure must be fully understood. Secondly, the oceanography of potential sites must be carefully studied to confirm that they are compatible with the species-specific capabilities. And, thirdly, an economic plan considering the operational costs and licencing limitations of the site must be developed. This review will serve as a guide and a compilation of information for researchers and stakeholders.

amoebic gill disease; Atlantic salmon; harmful algal blooms; oceanography; policy; sea lice

Reviews in Aquaculture: Volume 14, Issue 2

FundersBBSRC Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council
Publication date31/03/2022
Publication date online02/11/2021
Date accepted by journal05/10/2021

People (2)


Dr Lynne Falconer

Dr Lynne Falconer

Research Fellow, Institute of Aquaculture

Dr Sonia Rey Planellas

Dr Sonia Rey Planellas

Associate Professor, Institute of Aquaculture

Projects (1)

Offshore Aquaculture