Nutrient compensation as management tool– Sugar kelp production in sustainable aquaculture

Peter Søndergaard Schmedes, Teis Boderskov, Goncalo Silva Marinho, Susan Løvstad Holdt

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) is theoretically a sustainable production form, which minimizes waste products from e.g. fish farms, by the co-production of bivalves or/and seaweed. For the Danish fish farmers the extractive organisms could be the solution for increasing fish production, but do the principles of IMTA fully mitigate the nutrient impact from open net-pen fish production at realistic production scales?
In this project, commercial scale cultivation of sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) was investigated with regard to operation, yield, biofilter capacity and mapping the biomass composition for one year incl. protein content, amino acid profiles, lipids and fatty acid composition, minerals and vitamins. Results were obtained from an IMTA site and compared to a reference site with no impact from the fish (175 t year−1) and mussel farm, both located just outside Horsens Fjord, Denmark. The nitrogen content in sugar kelp varied between 0.5-3.7% of dw with the highest concentration in September 2013 with an estimated maximum yield of 5.1-7.1 tons ww ha-1 year-1. Potentially, a cultivation area of 204-340 ha would be needed to achieve 100% N recovery, based on the tonnage of the specific fish farm. The harvest contained protein (10%), lipids (3%) and vitamin A (34 mg/kg per dw), however with large seasonal variations. Sugar kelp increased the biodiversity by functioning as hanging reefs, but did not significantly affect the sediment by shading (5% in a scenario of 5 kg/meter dropper rope). During the project a number of improvements of the existing techniques for producing seaweed on suspended line systems were developed, however, further optimization of techniques for deployment, production as well as harvest is needed. This would also allow sugar kelp production as a viable and robust mitigation tool for nitrogen removal and hopefully allow for future expansion of sustainable marine fish production in Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event22nd International Seaweed Symposium - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jun 201624 Jun 2016


Conference22nd International Seaweed Symposium

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