SS1.01 Assessing Potential Environmental Impacts of Aquaculture
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
DixitSS, Environmental Quality Branch, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada, Sushil.Dixit@ec.gc.ca
Walker, S, L, Environmental Quality Branch, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada, Sherry.Walker@ec.gc.ca
 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF FRESHWATER AQUACULTURE IN CANADA: TOWARDS SCIENCE-BASED TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT
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Aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry in Canada. In 2000, the federal government implemented a Program for Sustainable Aquaculture in Canada. Environment Canada has been given the mandate to develop tools and conduct research to assess the effects of aquaculture operations on freshwater ecosystems. The most common ecosystem change caused by aquaculture operations is nutrient enrichment. Other changes to aquatic ecosystems can include deterioration of water quality; changes in physical and chemical characteristics of the sediment; shifts in benthic invertebrates; shifts in phytoplankton and zooplankton communities; increase of birds around net cages; increased interactions, disease transmission, and competition between farmed and wild fish. A review of the existing environmental monitoring programs indicates a lack of consistency across Canada. Similarly, Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines are lacking for many chemicals used in aquaculture. Necessary steps are being taken to identify information gaps, science and research needed for science-based, sustainable management of freshwater aquaculture in Canada. This presentation will review some of the work that is being proposed by Environment Canada to help address environmental issues pertaining to freshwater aquaculture.