Fisheries science
Print ISSN : 0919-9268
Spatial and temporal variations of sediment quality in and around fish cage farms: A case study of aquaculture in the Seto Inland Sea, Japan
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2001 Volume 67 Issue 4 Pages 619-627


Fish cage farming generates large amounts of organic waste in the form of unconsumed feed and fecal matter, resulting in sediment deterioration and a threat to its own sustainability. Field studies analysed the scale of the impact of fish cage farming on sediment quality, variability of impact and spread of sediment enrichment in the vicinity of a fish farm. Two fish culture sites near the Fukuyama area of the Seto Inland Sea of Japan were chosen for the study. There was a significant difference between the quality of the sediment in aquaculture and non-aquaculture areas. The sediment underlying the fish cage farms was found to be extremely reducing, acidic and sulfidic. Sediment ignition loss did not vary markedly with the season. However, the redox potential and acid volatile sulfide content of aquaculture areas did show some seasonal variation. Sediment encircling a 165 m radius from the center of a farm in Yokota was judged as organically enriched by fish farming. A variation in sediment quality within the two sites and also within the stations was observed. Based on sediment quality, the stations could be categorized as less affected, highly affected or moderately affected.

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