Effects of fish farm waste on Posidonia oceanica meadows: Synthesis and provision of monitoring and management tools

M. Holmer, M. Argyrou, T. Dalsgaard, R. Danovaro, E. Diaz-Almela, Carlos Duarte, M. Frederiksen, A. Grau, I. Karakassis, N. Marba, S. Mirto, M. Perez, A. Pusceddu, M. Tsapakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper provides a synthesis of the EU project MedVeg addressing the fate of nutrients released from fish farming in the Mediterranean with particular focus on the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica habitat. The objectives were to identify the main drivers of seagrass decline linked to fish farming and to provide sensitive indicators of environmental change, which can be used for monitoring purposes. The sedimentation of waste particles in the farm vicinities emerges as the main driver of benthic deterioration, such as accumulation of organic matter, sediment anoxia as well as seagrass decline. The effects of fish farming on P. oceanica meadows are diverse and complex and detected through various metrics and indicators. A safety distance of 400 m is suggested for management of P. oceanica near fish farms followed by establishment of permanent seagrass plots revisited annually for monitoring the health of the meadows. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-1629
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume56
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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