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Growth of Mytilus galloprovincialis (mollusca, bivalvia) close to fish farms: a case of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture within the Tyrrhenian Sea

  • Autori: Sarà, G; Zenone, A; Tomasello, A
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2009
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Mytilus galloprovincialis, Fish farm, Organic enrichment, Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), Fish, Mediterranean
  • OA Link:


A current practice of marine aquaculture is to integrate fish with low-trophic-level organisms (e.g. molluscs and/or algae) during farming to minimise effects of cultivation on the surrounding environment and to potentially increase economic income. This hypothesis has been tested in the present article experimentally, by co-cultivating fish and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) in the field. Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) experiments were started in July 2004 by transplanting mussel seed at two depths (-3 and -9 m) within 1,000 m downstream to fish cages and at 1,000 m upstream from cages. Mussels were cultured in nylon net bags for 12 months and the growth recorded biometrically. The outcome of our field experiment corroborated the idea of IMTA effectiveness. In fact, in the study area, the organic matter from fish-farm biodeposition caused changes in the chemical environment (i.e. controls and impacted sites were significantly different for organic matter availability and chlorophyll-a) and this induced changes in growth performance of co-cultivated mussels. Mussels cultivated close to cages, under direct organic emission, reached a higher total length, weight and biomass than mussel cultivated far from farms.