Bridging the Gap
Environmentally Friendly Aquaculture Design
Did you know that aquaculture is responsible for the production of roughly 50% of the world’s seafood? In Canada aquaculture accounts for 14% of the total Canadian fisheries production and 33% of its value. The aquaculture industry plays a vital role in all Canadian provinces and territories, employing nearly 10,000 people primarily in small communities.
Aquaculture has been around for thousands of years but has only been recognized as an industry in western society for four decades. During this time period, poor government regulation, environmental impacts and lack of industry promotion has had a negative impact on the image of the aquaculture industry.
In steps Adam Turner, a recent graduate of the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program at the University of New Brunswick, who is currently a Mechanical Engineer in Training at Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA). Adam’s master’s thesis focused on the hydrodynamic wake properties of scale model fish cages and fish cage arrays, to gain a better understanding of wake velocity, wake topology, wake turbulence and wake recovery. The results of his work are being used to better understand how to place extractive species in aquaculture farms for optimized nutrient extraction.
By focusing his studies on how water moves through fish cages and cage arrays, Adam is helping the aquaculture industry understand how current flow will impact nutrient and waste flow, and how that impacts surrounding habitats. Adam also draws attention to the vital role extractive species (mussels, sea cucumbers, kelp, etc.) play in and around aquaculture farms, as they have a natural ability to recycle nutrients or waste, making them a living filter.
Adam’s scale model testing research (currently featured in the December Issue of the World Aquaculture Magazine), suggests that the placement of extractive species, and current flow through cages should be an important consideration for any aquaculture farm as it will help to reduce the environmental impact these farms have on the surrounding marine environment.
From theory to practice, Turner is focusing his attention on aquaculture engineering projects at Dynamic Systems Analysis using their ProteusDS software. The software plays a vital role in allowing Adam to easily and effectively conduct mooring, motion and anchoring analyses, with use of ProteusDS’ built in hydrodynamic cable and net models. The data gained from these assessments will play a vital role in helping producers and site managers in the protection and maintenance of their aquaculture farms.
Heading to Aquaculture 2016 in Las Vegas? Check out Adam’s session IMTA/Aquaculture on Wednesday, February 24th at 10:30am.