Banging the feed or the outflow pipe might be detrimental to the health of farmed fish; reducing fertilisation and impacting negatively on yolk sac development.
That's a possible consequence of introducing unnecessary 'noise' into the aquatic environment, says Rogelio Sierra-Flores a student from Puebla City, Mexico's fourth largest city, who has just won the Novartis Animal Health (NAH) best student presentation at this year's Aquaculture UK 2012 conference. Called the “Young Scientist Award” the winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Novartis' Prince Edward Island (PEI) dedicated Aquaculture Research & Development site in Canada.
|Rogelio Sierra-Flores receives the Novartis Young Scientist Award 2012 at Aquaculture UK's gala dinner|
"Noise pollution in aquaculture has been under appreciated," he told his audience.
An increase of just 10-to-20dB above background noise is enough to disturb spawning and impact fertilisation by as much as 40 percent. And the bigger the tank the further the noise travels.
Mr Sierra-Flores who is working towards his PhD at Stirling University on noise and light as it impacts production in an industrial environment, says noise from just walking around fish ponds can have an impact if the walkways are not insulted from the tanks or cage structures. However, he say that results suggest some species are affected by noise more than others and salmon, he noted, are not as sensitive.
He told the audience that there was little literature on the subject to draw on and that much of that which is available was dated.
The Aquaculture UK 2012 Conference featured half-a-dozen presentations from students studying aquaculture in a number of universities from within the UK including universities such as Stirling University and the University of the Highlands and Islands, with the students themselves coming from Scotland, England, Europe and as far away as Mexico.
The Novartis Award results were announced at last night's gala dinner The winner travels to Canada in July to meet leading NAH scientists and have the opportunity to learn about fish vaccines, novel pharmaceutical developments and revolutionary new technologies in fish health. A visit to the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, where the Novartis Chair of Fish Health is based, is also on the itinerary.
“Novartis Animal Health Aqua has a rich history of aquaculture innovation and a demonstrated commitment to supporting ongoing growth of the industry,” said Matthias Hofer, Global Head of Novartis Animal Health Aqua.
“To stay at the forefront of aquaculture innovation, we have significantly invested in our R&D facilities in Prince Edward Island, in our people around the world, and also in endeavours such as the Novartis Chair of Fish Health at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and the Sea Lice Research Centre in Bergen. We believe that encouraging young, talented scientists is another important part of building the future of our industry.”