Ecological impact research

Ecological impact research

Services

  • Environmental impact assessment (biomonitoring) to test for the impact of a particular event (sampling before, during and after)
  • Energy profiling
  • Screening of marine organisms in changing environments: analysis of proximate composition (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids)
  • Sediment characterisation (e.g. to evaluate the impact of sand suppletion during coastal defences, the impact of aquaculture, the impact of hard bottom substrates or artificial reefs)
  • Energy flow and efficiency in integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA), biological and ecological baseline to select target species to minimize outflow of aquaculture installations
  • Support for statistical analyses of biodiversity studies, community analyses in relation to (changed) environmental variables

Applications

  • Evaluation of the impact of environmental changes on biodiversity of marine invertebrates
  • Impact of aquaculture on sediment composition because of deposition of leftover food and fecal pellets (e.g. under fish cages)
  • Quantification of outflow of aquaculture installations and formulating optimalisation of feeds and feeding schemes in order to reduce the outflow and to optimize IMTA
  • Identifying benefits of anthropogenic offshore constructions: opportunities for combining green energy and blue growth

Environmental risks and benefits

Changes in environmental conditions or human activities (including coastal and offshore constructions) can result in large-scale ecosystem changes.

Wind farms

The combination of green energy and aquaculture fits perfectly in the vision of blue growth. Wind farms are a good example of a man-induced change in the marine ecosystem that can offer new opportunities both for ecology and aquaculture. Because of the restrictions on fishing activities in these zones, fish can thrive and populations will increase. In order to support the increased population, the sustainability of this increase needs to be assessed by evaluating the amount of energy and food sources available in the area. Moreover, sufficient nutrient sources can provide opportunities for aquaculture installations.

Integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA)

The impact of aquaculture installations on the surrounding environment can be measured and opportunities for integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) can be evaluated.

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