Discovery Guides Areas


Aquaculture Impacts on the Environment
(Released December 1999 )

  by Craig Emerson  


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Anoxic: depleted of dissolved oxygen

Benthos: organisms living on the bottom of the water column, either at or just under the sediment-water interface.

Biodiversity: the existence of a wide range of different species in a given area or during a specific period of time

Brackishwater aquaculture: culture operations in water of salinity between 0.50 and 17.00 parts per thousand. (i.e. salinity less than ocean water but greater than lakes and rivers).

Broodstock: sexually mature animals used as a source of culture stock.

Bycatch: unwanted fish that are accidentally netted or caught in the process of fishing for higher value fish.

Carrying Capacity: the maximum biomass, or quantity of animals, that can be grown in an area without impairing growth and survival.

Crustacean: aquatic arthropods from the class Crustacea, including lobsters, crabs, shrimp and prawn.

Eutrophication: the increase of mineral and organic nutrients in a water body, thereby reducing dissolved oxygen and producing an environment that generally favors plants over animals.

Mariculture: aquaculture in the marine environment. Brackishwater aquaculture occurs in water which is not as saline as the ocean but significantly greater than fresh water.

Mollusc: invertebrates organisms from the phylum Mollusca. Cultured representatives include mussels, oysters and clams.

Netpens: enclosures used to raise fish and shellfish directly in lakes, ponds and coastal bays. Netpens can be large structures containing thousands of fish, or relatively small cages containing only a few shellfish.

Phytoplankton: microscopic algae floating in the water column.

Raceways: a series of tanks or ponds through which water flows continuously without being recycled. Most freshwater finfish culture employs a type of raceway.

Sea Cucumbers: marine invertebrates related to starfish (Echinoderms).

Seed: larvae of cultured species.

Selective Breeding: breeding an organism that has a desirable trait with another so that the desirable trait is passed to the next generation.

Shrimp: crustacean shellfish similar to prawn. In most cases, prawn refers to freshwater species while shrimp are marine or brackishwater.

Tonne: 1,000 kilograms (2,204.62 pounds)

Triploid: containing three sets of chromosomes.