How Sustainable is that Salmon Farm? @RISK Helps Evaluate.

University of New Brunswick Applies @RISK to Sustainable Seafood FarmingAquaculture has become a booming industry in many regions of the world. According to the World Bank, nearly two-thirds of the seafood we consume will be farm-raised in 2030. However, commercial aquaculture can have negative environmental impacts, such as high nutrient waste and low oxygen environments. Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) are managed, multi-species aquaculture systems designed to improve environmental management, and increase harvest value through product diversification and recycling of nutrients.

To achieve these benefits, all the interacting components must be understood and carefully optimized. Dr. Gregor Reid, a senior research scientist with the University of New Brunswick, used @RISK to determine the ideal ratios of kelps to uptake fish waste  from a salmon IMTA system. A paper detailing this work appeared in the journal Aquaculture in May of 2013.

For his @RISK model, Reid gathered key inputs such as digestibility of salmon feed components, nutrient content of IMTA kelps, and  feed composition. After running 10,000 iterations in @RISK, Reid found that “it’s not going to be possible to do full dissolved nutrient recovery with kelps in North America, unless the number of fish being farmed on site is reduced to make room for other species.” But, he says, “One-hundred percent nutrient sequestration doesn’t need to be the only successful endpoint in such systems.”

» Read “University of New Brunswick Applies @RISK to Sustainable Seafood Farming”

One comment

  1. What you describe, albeit under a new name, is aquaponics, the closed-loop system that feeds the fish on plants and the plants on fish “manure”. “commercial aquaculture can have negative environmental impacts, such as high nutrient waste and low oxygen environments” Aquaponics also takes care of the oxygen part due to photosynthesis by the symbiotic plants. The only thing it needs, like Earth itself, is energy input, and best it would be to use it directly from the sun to harden these sensitive installations against e.g. prolonged blackouts like after a solar storm or EMP event.

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