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Dissolved oxygen variability in a commercial sea-cage exposes farmed Atlantic salmon to growth limiting conditions

Dissolved oxygen variability in a commercial sea-cage exposes farmed Atlantic salmon to growth limiting conditions

Category
Academic article
Abstract
Understanding dissolved O2 flux in marine cages, and how individual fish respond to and experience such variation, is critical to optimizing growth and production performance of farmed salmon. We used a high resolution environmental monitoring system to create a 3-dimensional map of a commercial marine cage with respect to salinity, temperature and dissolved O2 through time, while also tracking the oxygen experience of 4 individually tagged Atlantic salmon. Despite all of the dissolved O2 measurements at the reference site being physiologically suitable for maximum growth, 1 in 4 of the recordings collected within the cage were below dissolved O2 levels known to reduce feed intake and growth. Recorded dissolved O2 in the cage ranged from 26 to 90% saturation with a high degree of vertical, horizontal and temporal variation. Poorest dissolved O2 conditions consistently occurred at night in the central and down-current cage positions. Dissolved O2 levels experienced by individual fish ranged from 30 to 90% saturation, with variation within 5 minute intervals as large as 32 percentage points. These results expand the current body of knowledge on environmental variability in marine cages, and provide valuable insights to aid farm managers in focusing mitigation and monitoring efforts when and where they are most needed.
Client
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 206968
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 267800
Language
English
Author(s)
  • David Solstorm
  • Tina Oldham
  • Frida Solstorm
  • Pascal Klebert
  • Lars Helge Stien
  • Tone Vågseth
  • Frode Oppedal
Affiliation
  • Institute of Marine Research
  • University of Tasmania
  • SINTEF Ocean / Sjømatteknologi
Year
2018
Published in
Aquaculture
ISSN
0044-8486
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
486
Page(s)
122 - 129