Evaluation of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon Loadings from Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Marine Cage Farms in Mazandaran Province

Document Type : Research Paper


Agricultural economics department, University of Tehran


Being an essentially open system, cages are usually characterized by a high degree of interaction with environment and cage systems are highly likely to produce large bulk of wastes that are released directly into the aquatic ecosystem if optimal use of inputs, especially fish food, is not available. Nevertheless, measurement of side effects of fish cage culture, along with providing solutions for the optimal use of fish food, can be used as an effective tool to reduce the side effects of this system. So the purpose of this study is to quantify nutrient loadings in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) marine cage farms as the most important nutrients released to the marine and near-shore ecosystem and to make suggestions for reducing the emissions of these nutrients in Mazandaran province. In the production cycle of 2017-18, there were 9 active fish cage farms which the nutrient loadings from each farm were calculated based on an indirect method. According to the results, the environmental loss amounted to 73.979 kg N t-1, 13.893 kg P t-1, and 488.353 kg C t-1 of fish produced. Feed conversion ratio (FCR = feed supplied/ body weight gained) varied between 0.897- 4 with an average of 1.249 representing severe inefficiencies of feeding. Based on study findings, weak technical knowledge of farmers, especially in choosing the right time for start and the end of production cycles, and feeding mismanagement will increase the amount of nutrients released into the environment.


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