Research Report

Impact of Salmonid Pen Aquaculture on Hard Substrates. A report commisioned by SARF and prepared by ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd., Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling and WRc plc

Citation

Roberts CA, Telfer T, Johnson I, Honey DJ, Miller FM, Aldous E, Tillin HM & Hull SC (2014) Impact of Salmonid Pen Aquaculture on Hard Substrates. A report commisioned by SARF and prepared by ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd., Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling and WRc plc. SARF090 Report, R.2127. Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF). http://www.sarf.org.uk/cms-assets/documents/167420-751752.sarf090.pdf

Abstract
Future increases in the extent of marine salmonid aquaculture in Scotland are likely to require expansion of the industry into new locations in addition to the extension of existing pen sites. The trend is for new sites to be considered in more exposed locations than existing sites, where the higher energy nature of the locations may be reflected in the presence of hard substrate benthic habitats and associated species. Alternatively potential new sites may be located over hard substrate benthic habitats in more sheltered lower energy environments. However, less is known about the impacts of aquaculture emissions on the features and species of conservation importance within these ‘hard substrate' habitats, compared to the soft sediment habitats of most current aquaculture sites. As such, the present study was commissioned by the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF) to undertake the following:  - A review of the biological impacts of emissions from all forms of industrial activity on subtidal hard substrate features (habitats and associated species), including recommended methods of assessing the effects on an ongoing basis, and recommending further research where necessary to fill current knowledge gaps;  - An assessment of how the Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) (or operational Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs)) currently in use by SEPA have been derived, in relation to their applicability to all the possible hard substrate features that might be encountered in Scottish coastal waters, that are relevant to aquaculture development;  - A review of guidance, case law and practical case studies relating to developments in Europe where designated features may be present within the proposed development footprint; and  - A review of the available sources of information on the extent of hard substrate features around the coasts of Scotland, how this information can be accessed and techniques, sampling protocols and indicative costs that could be used to collect data where information gaps currently exist.

StatusPublished
Title of seriesSARF090 Report
Number in seriesR.2127
Publication date30/04/2014
PublisherScottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF)
Publisher URLhttp://www.sarf.org.uk/…1752.sarf090.pdf
ISBN978-1-907266-61-4

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