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Dissolved oxygen variability in a commercial sea-cage exposes farmed Atlantic salmon to growth limiting conditions

Solstorm, D, Oldham, T, Solstorm, F, Klebert, P, Stien, LH, Vagseth, T and Oppedal, F 2018 , 'Dissolved oxygen variability in a commercial sea-cage exposes farmed Atlantic salmon to growth limiting conditions' , Aquaculture, vol. 486 , pp. 122-129 , doi: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2017.12.008.

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Understanding dissolved O2 flux in marine cages, and how individual fish respond to and experience such variation, is critical to optimizing growth and production performance of farmed salmon. We used a high resolution environmental monitoring system to create a 3-dimensional map of a commercial marine cage with respect to salinity, temperature and dissolved O2 through time, while also tracking the oxygen experience of 4 individually tagged Atlantic salmon. Despite all of the dissolved O2 measurements at the reference site being physiologically suitable for maximum growth, 1 in 4 of the recordings collected within the cage were below dissolved O2 levels known to reduce feed intake and growth. Recorded dissolved O2 in the cage ranged from 26 to 90% saturation with a high degree of vertical, horizontal and temporal variation. Poorest dissolved O2 conditions consistently occurred at night in the central and down-current cage positions. Dissolved O2 levels experienced by individual fish ranged from 30 to 90% saturation, with variation within 5 minute intervals as large as 32 percentage points. These results expand the current body of knowledge on environmental variability in marine cages, and provide valuable insights to aid farm managers in focusing mitigation and monitoring efforts when and where they are most needed.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Solstorm, D and Oldham, T and Solstorm, F and Klebert, P and Stien, LH and Vagseth, T and Oppedal, F
Keywords: Salmo salar, aquaculture, hypoxia, behaviour, dissolved oxygen, fish welfare
Journal or Publication Title: Aquaculture
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0044-8486
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2017.12.008
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V.

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