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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2016, Vol 16, Num, 4     (Pages: 855-863)

Effects of Off-Coast Bluefin Tuna Fattening on Water Quality in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Mehmet Aksu 1 ,Aslı Kaymakçı-Basaran 1 ,Özdemir Egemen 1

1 Ege University, Faculty of Fisheries, Department of Hydrobiology, Bornova, Izmir-Turkey DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v16_4_12 Viewed : 4305 - Downloaded : 4191 Bluefin tuna farming in the Mediterranean has been expanding since the mid-1990s. Expansion of tuna farming has been accompanied by widespread concerns about its impacts on the marine environment. The aim of the present study was to investigate impacts of a capture-based tuna farm located in the Gerence Bay on the water column and sediment. With this aim, temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a and nutrients in the water column and organic carbon variables in the sediment were measured on a seasonal basis from 2011 to 2012. Samplings were made at the two reference stations and five stations around the cages. It was found that nutrient concentrations in the water column at the cage stations increased more than those of the reference stations but these differences were not statistically significant. Similarly, psycho-chemical parameters and chlorophyll a in water column and organic carbon in sediment did not show detectable impact of tuna fattening. This was probably caused by strong currents present in the area, location of the cages away from the coast, hence high water depth and controllable feeding. It is believed that conducting monitoring studies is necessary to maintain sustainability of tuna fattening and determine the related potential impacts. Keywords : Aquaculture, bluefin tuna, organic carbon, Mediterranean Sea, nutrients, off-coast farming