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Environmental Effects

AIMS' Water Quality and Environmental Health team is involved in two projects to investigate the environmental effects of sea cage aquaculture in tropical environments.

Project One

Planning tools for environmentally sustainable tropical finfish cage culture in Indonesia and northern Australia (2003-2008) is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and has study sites in Indonesia and northern Australia.

Partner agencies included the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the Research Institute for Coastal Aquaculture (RICA), South Sulawesi, and the National Seafarming Development Centre, Lampung, Indonesia. The engagement with ACIAR made it possible for AIMS scientists to undertake research in Indonesia, where aquaculture is more intensively developed than in Australia, and where the coastal zone is more heavily impacted by human activities.

In this way, it is hoped to be able to forecast environmental impacts of existing and new aquaculture activities in Australia before they occur, and to be able to better manage aquaculture both in tropical Australia and in Indonesia.

Background to the project

Highlights of the study

Sampling sites
Water quality monitoring
Key results of project
Planning tools

Project progress reports

Annual reports

Project Two

Environmental Impacts of Sea Cage Aquaculture in a Queensland Context – Hinchinbrook Channel Case Study (2007-2008) is a project commissioned by the Queensland State Government and co-funded by Lyntune Pty Ltd., trading as Bluewater Barramundi.

The project goal was to investigate the environmental impacts of sea cage aquaculture in the Hinchinbrook Channel area. Bluewater Barramundi farm is the only farm of its kind in Queensland and one of only two in tropical Australia. It is in both the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Therefore, the activities of the fish farm must be compatible with World Heritage values.

AIMS conducted system-orientated research to understand the effect of the fish farm within the mangrove environment as a whole.

Bluewater Barramundi Farm and the Hinchinbrook Environment

Highlights of the study

Physics of Conn Creek
Water quality
Farm footprint
Fate of wastes

Final report

Executive summary
Final report (4.274Mb PDF file)