Locate artificial reefs near aquaculture systems (and vice versa) to act as biofilters
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Aquaculture systems can negatively impact invertebrate subtidal communities through pollution and diminished water quality (Wu et al. 1994). Artificial reefs host a high biodiversity, including filter-feeding organisms, and stimulate the biological productivity around them, even in the surrounding soft sediments (Ambrose & Anderson 1990). By placing artificial reefs near aquaculture systems, they can act as natural biofilters following colonisation, improving water quality, and potentially benefitting surrounding subtidal benthic invertebrates (Aguado-Giménez et al. 2011; Angel et al. 2002; Gao et al. 2008).
Evidence of other interventions related to the relocation of aquaculture activities are summarised under “Threat: Pollution – Locate aquaculture systems in already impacted areas”, “Locate aquaculture systems in locations with fast currents”, and “Locate aquaculture systems in vegetated areas”. Other evidence related to the creation of artificial reefs are summarised in the “Habitat restoration and creation” chapter.
Aguado-Giménez F., Piedecausa M.A., Carrasco C., Gutiérrez J.M., Aliaga V. & García-García B. (2011) Do benthic biofilters contribute to sustainability and restoration of the benthic environment impacted by offshore cage finfish aquaculture? Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62, 1714–1724.
Ambrose R.F. & Anderson T.W. (1990). Influence of an artificial reef on the surrounding infaunal community. Marine Biology, 107, 41–52.
Angel D.L., Eden N., Breitstein S., Yurman A., Katz T. & Spanier E. (2002) In situ biofiltration: a means to limit the dispersal of effluents from marine finfish cage aquaculture. Hydrobiologia, 469, 1–10.
Gao Q.-F., Shin P.K.S., Xu W.Z. & Cheung S.G. (2008). Amelioration of marine farming impact on the benthic environment using artificial reefs as biofilters. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 57, 652–661.
Wu R.S.S., Lam K.S., MacKay D.W., Lau T.C. & Yam V. (1994) Impact of marine fish farming on water quality and bottom sediment: A case study in the sub-tropical environment. Marine Environmental Research, 38, 115–145.