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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 1:85-93 (2010)  -  DOI:

Coastal communities, participatory research, and far-field effects of aquaculture

Jonathan Grant

Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1, Canada

ABSTRACT: Marine aquaculture is controversial in coastal communities for a variety of reasons, including environmental and aesthetic concerns. Shellfish and especially finfish farming have the potential to cause eutrophication effects on the bottom, and reduce oxygen levels in the water column. Active participation of citizens in data gathering before and after development provides a mechanism of engagement in the science used for development decisions. I examine how participatory science can solve 2 problems: insight into far-field impacts of aquaculture, and entrainment of coastal stakeholders into the decision process. Working with a community group, I suggest sediment profile imaging as a method that could be employed by coastal residents, including participation in image analysis of the apparent redox potential discontinuity, a validated visual indicator of coastal benthic conditions. The implementation of rigorous science, with applicability to ecosystem health and capacity for public participation is key in ecosystem-based management.

KEY WORDS: Coastal commities · Aquaculture · Sediment profile images · Benthic impacts · Coastal zone management

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Cite this article as: Grant J (2010) Coastal communities, participatory research, and far-field effects of aquaculture. Aquacult Environ Interact 1:85-93.

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