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Title: A coupled biogeochemical-Dynamic Energy Budget model as a tool for managing fish production ponds
Author: Serpa, Dalila
Pousão-Ferreira, Pedro
Caetano, Miguel
Cancela da Fonseca, Luís
Dinis, Maria Teresa
Duarte, Pedro
Keywords: Ecological modeling
Environmental impacts
Fish farming
Sediment quality
Water quality
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: The sustainability of semi-intensive aquaculture relies on management practices that simultaneously improve production efficiency and minimize the environmental impacts of this activity. The purpose of the present work was to develop a mathematical model that reproduced the dynamics of a semi-intensive fish earth pond, to simulate different management scenarios for optimizing fish production. The modeling approach consisted of coupling a biogeochemical model that simulated the dynamics of the elements that are more likely to affect fish production and cause undesirable environmental impacts (nitrogen, phosphorus and oxygen) to a fish growth model based on the Dynamic Energy Budget approach. The biogeochemical sub-model successfully simulated most water column and sediment variables. A good model fit was also found between predicted and observed white seabream (Diplodus sargus) growth data over a production cycle. In order to optimize fish production, different management scenarios were analysed with the model (e.g. increase stocking densities, decrease/increase water exchange rates, decrease/increase feeding rates, decrease phosphorus content in fish feeds, increase food assimilation efficiency and decrease pellets sinking velocity) to test their effects on the pond environment as well as on fish yields and effluent nutrient discharges. Scenarios were quantitatively evaluated and compared using the Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) methodology. The best management options that allow the maximization of fish production while maintaining a good pond environment and minimum impacts on the adjacent coastal system were to double standard stocking densities and to improve food assimilation efficiency.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.06.090
ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos

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