On the Scottish sea floor

Salmon farms don’t seem to have much negative impact on the sea floor, suggests a new study from Scotland.

A study of the sea floor underneath a salmon farm suggests that:

There was no evidence that vagile predator/scavengers were either attracted to, or repelled by, salmon farms. We conclude that burrowers and suspension feeders were relatively resilient to salmon farms in muddy, sea-loch habitats and that detectable impacts did not exceed 100 m from the cage boundary.

Suspension feeders did seem to be somewhat affected and more research is of course needed, but one of the study’s overall conclusions was that

In terms of protecting the megabenthos, addressing other sources of impact, such as trawl damage (Watling & Norse 1998), may yield greater conservation value.

I.e. instead of focusing on the potential impacts of salmon farms, perhaps researchers should focus on the impacts of bottom trawlers, which do more environmental damage.

It’s an interesting study. We would like to see similar work done in B.C.


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