A comparison of a Mediterranean aquaculture impacted area and control areas was made to assess the effect of fish farm waste discharge onthe biochemical features of the water column. Trophic variables commonly used in marine ecology such as total suspended matter, suspendedchlorophyll-a, biochemical features of particulate organic matter (proteins, lipids and carbohydrates) and biopolymeric carbon were chosen asthe best descriptors of trophic conditions. An initial analysis of data from the impact area was carried out in order to test the effect of farm wasteusing a gradient of distances downstream from the fish farm cages (50 m, 300 m, 1000 m). The results were then compared with a control site750 m upstream. Subsequently, the cage data set was asymmetrically compared with data from five controls collected some years before, whenno aquaculture activity was present in the Gulf. The analysis revealed differences in chlorophyll-a, carbohydrates and some trophic ratios betweenthe farm impact area and the controls taken upstream. A clear pattern of trophic enrichment of the water column around the fish farm wasevidenced since concentrations in the sites increased along with their distance from the cages. The downstream sites overall were significantlydifferent, trophically speaking, from the five control areas, while the trophic variables of the upstream control were not different from the externalcontrols. Results showed that fish farm facilities provided an organic enrichment of the water column up to at least 1000 m downstreamfrom the cages, producing a deviation of trophodynamics from normal ambient conditions.
|Numero di pagine||8|
|Rivista||Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2006|
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