As marine aquaculture expands around the world, there is increased concern for impacts to protected species like marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, and sharks. To help inform resource conservation and risk assessment associated with marine aquaculture development, NCCOS scientists conducted a comprehensive review of documented cases of protected species interactions with aquaculture installations. The resulting publication, “A global review of protected species interactions with marine aquaculture,” summarizes the state of knowledge of protected species interactions with marine fish and shellfish aquaculture farms around the world.
The potential impacts of farms can include entanglement, entrapment, collisions, habitat exclusion, and behavioral modifications. The scientists combed through documented cases of protected species entanglements or entrapments at a variety of aquaculture farms around the world. In addition, the team considered impacts to marine mammal, shark, sea turtle and seabird behavior as a result of underwater noise, vessel traffic, artificial light, marine debris, and other associated effects of marine aquaculture facilities and operations.
These findings will help advance the science of conservation by providing managers and industry with more insight to protect the most vulnerable species, and will serve as a meaningful tool to support planning for offshore aquaculture development, and sustainable growth of the Blue Economy.
This work was funded by NCCOS and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Office of Aquaculture. NMFS staff across the country also provided manuscript reviews.
Citation: Bath G.E., Price C.A., Riley K.L., Morris J.A. Jr. 2023. A global review of protected species interactions with marine aquaculture. Review in Aquaculture;1‐34. doi:10.1111/raq.12811