Wednesday 24. April 2013

Seals and Aquaculture in Iceland

[mynd 1 h]On Friday April 26, Andrew W. Osmond, will present his master's thesis in Coastal and Marine Management, titled Seals and Aquaculture in Iceland: Potential for Conflict and Practical Mitigation Measures. The presentation will be in English and is open to the public. It begins at 14:00 in room 1-2 at the University Centre.

The thesis advisor is Erlingur Hauksson, a marine biologist at the Icelandic Seal Center and the external reader is dr. Peter Krost, a specialist in aquaculture and instructor at the Coastal and Marine Management program.

[mynd 2 h]With a rich history in fisheries Iceland has of course been involved in the world's fastest growing food industry, aquaculture. In recent years sea based aquaculture has been becoming more popular and has resulted in expansion throughout the fjords and along the coasts of the country. The goal of this project was to determine if there have been any impacts to or from the native seal populations and predict the potential for future impacts. Through monitoring already established aquaculture sites, and native seal populations an understanding may be gained of how interactions have been occurring by visibly studying them as well as comparing conditions to elsewhere in the world where interactions have led to problems. Aquaculture companies have also been surveyed in order to determine the past and present issues which have been occurring around the country. This study collected baseline data of seal numbers at haul-out sites, sites where aquaculture is already established and at locations that will have aquaculture in the future. This data, along with research from around the world where aquaculture has had issues with seals and other marine mammals, best practices for dealing with and preventing conflicts can be determined for Iceland. This baseline data can also be used for future studies, monitoring changes of seal numbers at the established field sites.