Environmental interactions to aquaculture


NTNU-studenter besøker et lakseoppdrettsanlegg. Foto: Kjell Inge Reitan/NTNU


The research group within “environmental interactions to aquaculture” focus on research topics that address environmental aspects of sea based aquaculture that is important for future utilisation of marine bio-resources. One aspect that is important for sustainable use of coastal waters is the organic wastes that originate from aquaculture activities. The sediment wastes to the seafloor are monitored for bottom impacts, but the organic particles can also be a resource for a value added production.

Also the inorganic nutrients released to the water column are a resource for growth of primary producers as macroalgae. To mitigate potential environmental problems of wastes from sea based aquaculture, Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is a potential, where wastes from some organisms are resources for others. In that way IMTA minimise the effect of resource input and environmental impact, while optimising production yields.


Cultivation of microalgae in tubular photo bioreactor. Photo: SINTEF Fisheries and aquaculture


Another important environmental interaction of sea based aquaculture is the potential spreading of salmon lice. A focus in the research group is to obtain knowledge of physical and biological conditions within salmon farms that affect the spreading mechanisms of sea lice between and within different fish farms.

The potential of cultured marine microorganisms, e.g. microalgae, as a new sustainable feed source for aquaculture is a focused area. Marine microorganisms are the natural source of essential fatty acids in the marine food web. Research on developing marine microalgae to a sustainable feed resource follows both biotechnological approaches and optimization of the cultivation conditions to utilize the maximum physiological potential of the microalgae.