A Blue Ribbon Panel of scientists from NOAA, state, and academia released a report addressing environmental concerns with the development of a net-pen aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes. Great Lakes Net-Pen Commercial Aquaculture: A Short Summary of the Science details many issues, including the need for best management practices for operations and considerations of fish health and disease. Important ecological interactions attributable to aquaculture, such as nutrient effects, invasive species, and escapes, are also identified. The Great Lakes ecosystem accounts for 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater; however, decades of pollution, coastal development, overfishing, and the introduction of non-native species have resulted in severe impacts. Given the growing importance of aquaculture as a strategy to grow coastal economies, managers are considering ways to develop aquaculture to meet the growing demand for seafood.
Original article: Report Addresses Concerns of Great Lakes Commercial Net-Pen Aquaculture