Chemical and biological monitoring of freshwater and marine ecosystems impacted by aquaculture farm operations

HCMR research team conducted a sampling in Vourlias bay in Argolikos gulf. Vourlias Bay is a coastal area with intensive aquaculture production sites and is situated in the Peloponnesian mainland, Greece. For the samplings, a HCMR research vessel, a dinghy and an auto-mobile laboratory were used that provide large laboratory space and quick sampling procedure.

Three replicates of water samples were collected from 15 stations to validate the Aquaculture Integrated Model (AIM). Dissolved nutrients (phosphates, nitrates, silicates, ammonia), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), particulate organic carbon (POC), Sampling was performed in close proximity to the fish farms every eight hours during three consecutive days.Meso-zooplankton was collected from 15 stations by vertically towing a net of 200 μm mesh size three times at around 20 m depth, in order to collect adequate material for chemical and composition analysis. Sampling was performed for two consequent days.

For the validation of the ecotoxicological models, sediment samples were collected from nine stations close to Farm 9. The sampling design included the collection of triplicate sediment samples from nine stations with three different bottom depths (30, 50 and 70 m) and three distances from the cages (0, 25 and 50 m from the edge of the cages downstream in the residual current direction). These samples will be analyzed for contaminants and benthic composition.