Modeling tool for the prediction of the environmental response to the material deposition from offshore cages of the Canary Islands.

Project accepted by the Industrial Technological Development Center (ITDC) on 28/01/2010 through the granting of a co-financed aid through the Technological Fund.

CANAMOD project aim is to develop structured and validated model of environmental conditions for species cultured in the Canary Islands, which can be used as a management tool in predictions of waste dispersion from sea bream, sea bass and meagre cages and its possible environment impacts.

This numerical tool will allow carrying out dispersal studies before installation of aquaculture cages, and also will be applicable in farms that may be affected by other facilities, or by increasing of production. These simulations allow delimitation the waste dispersion, possible affected areas, pollutant load, etc. This information is useful for carrying out studies of environmental impact and estimation ofthe medium carrying capacity, which would result in establishment of the maximum production in a zone, aquaculture polygon or other determined area.

The specific objectives that derive from the general aim:

• Evaluation of possible environmental impacts associated withoffshore cages in the Canary Islands, tools and methodologies used in their assessment, procedures, sampling protocols and tools used in other regions, environmental impacts analysis, evaluation and management of sea cages. Establishment of various aspects related to «load capacity» and its applicability in the Canary Islands: definition and scope, its descriptive parameters (spatial and temporal), available tools, similar experiences in other environments/countries and related experiences in the Canary Islands/Spain/Europe/etc.

• Design and implementation of sampling program of the most significant parameters for obtaining data about the impact of cages on sediments. This program has to be sufficiently significant, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and thusshould cover a wide range of environmental, geographic and temporal sampling conditions, with the development of a database.

• Creation of a mathematical model for prediction of an amount of waste material from sea cages, its dispersion and possible environmental responses in the Canary Islands. The model must be adapted to the particular environmental conditions and cultivated species (sea bream, sea bass and meagre), as well as to culture systems and management of local companies. The model should require data that is not very costly in monetary and time terms, and shouldhave a user-friendly interface.

• Development and implementation of strategies for commercialization and exploitation among the target groups (industry, administrations, research centers and universities).