Improving the sustainability of aquaculture: investigating novel experimental concepts and techniques

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Gunning, Daryl
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University College Cork
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The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate novel concepts and techniques that have the potential to improve the sustainability of the marine aquaculture industry. The focus of the research described here is on novel ecosystem approaches to aquaculture management by integrating species from multiple trophic levels into one system. This has been termed Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), a concept that combines (ideally, in the appropriate proportions) the cultivation of fed aquaculture species (e.g. finfish or shrimp), with organic and inorganic extractive species (e.g. bivalve molluscs, seaweed or halophytes). Emphasis throughout has been placed on improving techniques and novel concepts that have the potential to be of practical sustainable use to existing and future industrial aquaculture operations. Chapter 1 specifically details the development of sustainable saltwater-based food production systems, with a focus on established and emerging concepts. In Chapter 2, the biofiltering capacity of the halophyte Salicornia europaea is assessed, with a focus on biofiltering capacity when irrigated with wastewater from an oyster hatchery and cultivated via the novel hydroponic techniques. In Chapter 3, the efficacy of different stratification methodologies on S. europaea seed germination and growth are assessed, while Chapter 4 deals with the effectiveness of three anaesthetics in reducing error when measuring the size of cotton-spinner sea cucumber Holothuria forskali. The efficacy of passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags for H. forskali are assessed in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 describes the cultivation of six species of seaweed in small-scale zero exchange maraponic systems with blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), Japanese abalone (Haliotis discus hannai) and Holothuria forskali. Finally, Chapter 7 details practical considerations and theoretical aspects of set-up and operation of a pilot-scale IMTA system (seaweed longlines containing Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima) in conjunction with a commercial organic salmon farm in Southern Ireland.  
Aquaculture , IMTA , Maraponics , Sustainability , Novel techniques
Gunning, D. E. 2017. Improving the sustainability of aquaculture: investigating novel experimental concepts and techniques. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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