WAS Asian Pacific, High Value Aquaculture Finfish Symposium. 15-18 October 2013, Kagoshima, Japan, Kagoshima, Japan, 15 - 18 October 2013, pp.11
Seabass and seabream are the two main species dominating Marine Aquaculture in the
Mediterranean. Turkish and Greek Aquaculture Industries, with 194.000 tons of production (marine, fresh
water and diadromous fishes), are in a rapid growth period among Mediterranean countries. The aquaculture
production amount of the other main producers in the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy or Portugal) has been
stable, while aquaculture production in France showed a serious decline during the last ten years.
There are different regulations between Mediterranean countries in terms of aquaculture and
environmental legislations. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Turkey has amended a new
Environmental Law in year 2006 to exclude marine cages from environmentally sensitive areas, enclosed
bays and near shore areas. Criteria for sensitive areas where cage aquaculture farms are not allowed have
been determined as minimum 30 m of water depth, 0.6 miles distance from coastline and a current speed of
0.1 m/sec. There is no doubt that moving off-shore may reduce conflicts between coastal zone users,
increase production capacity while reducing environmental concerns, or improve productivity and
profitability. However, with these new regulations offshore farmers had to face technical challenges, such as
new investment costs, legislative and administrative regulations, environmental impact assessment (EIA)
procedures, and new applications, skill and management. After a short time these new regulations have
made positive effects on the Turkish mariculture industry, not only from aquaculture production standpoint
but also from environmental point of view.
As the Aquaculture industry looks to feed the world with its 9 billion people in 2050 in a sustainable
way, fish farmers worldwide need to be given the ability to safely produce high yields of fish while protecting
the environment. Biofouling is one of the main problems in marine aquaculture. Minimizing biofouling in
marine systems would be a great interest to fish farmers because of reducing maintenance costs. Biofouling
causes serious problems in terms of blockage of water flow through the net mesh and decreasing oxygen
content in the water. Reducing biofouling on nettings may have overall benefits in terms of better fish growth
induced by increased feeding rate, reduced stress from net changes, improved fish health due to a more
sanitary environment, and also labor costs due to less work for changing the net periodically. Copper alloy
nettings are antimicrobial and stay naturally clean. Preventing any biofouling on the marine system, it can be
considered as a new material and candidate to promote high value sustainable aquaculture industry.
During a field study conducted at Canakkale University in cooperation with University of New
Hampshire (USA), very limited biofouling was recorded, very limited net deformation was observed on the
copper-alloy net material, bioassay analyzed showed no significant differences with fish cultured in copper
alloy nettings and those grown in traditional nylon nettings. These findings presented copper alloy nettings
as a promising alternative material for the sustainability of cage aquaculture industry.