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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 12:485-494 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00378

European lobsters utilise Atlantic salmon wastes in coastal integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems

A. Baltadakis1,*, J. Casserly2, L. Falconer1, M. Sprague1, T. C. Telfer1

1Institute of Aquaculture, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
2Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore H91 R673, Ireland
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated if juvenile European lobsters Homarus gammarus would eat waste from Atlantic salmon Salmo salar cages in a coastal integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) setup and if there were any impacts on growth. Trophic interactions between salmon and lobsters were assessed using δ15N and δ13C stable isotope analysis and fatty acid profiling from fish feed as indicators of nutrient flow. Analysis revealed that lobsters directly utilised particulate waste from salmon production, as levels of indicator fatty acids from salmon feed were significantly higher in lobster tissues near the fish cages compared to the control site. Route of uptake may have been direct consumption of waste feed or faecal material or indirectly through fouling organisms. Stable isotope analysis did not indicate nutrient transfer to lobsters, suggesting that the duration of the study and/or the amount of waste consumed was not sufficient for stable isotope analysis. Lobsters grew significantly over the trial period at both sites, but there was no significant difference in lobster growth between the sites. Our results show a trophic relationship between salmon and lobsters within this IMTA system, with no apparent advantage or disadvantage to growth.


KEY WORDS: Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture · IMTA · Lobster · Salmon · Fatty acids · Stable isotopes · Ecosystem services


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Cite this article as: Baltadakis A, Casserly J, Falconer L, Sprague M, Telfer TC (2020) European lobsters utilise Atlantic salmon wastes in coastal integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems. Aquacult Environ Interact 12:485-494. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00378

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