BMT secures new aquaculture project in Abu Dhabi

07 Sep 2017
BMT will deliver a state-of-the-art EIA approach to assess the potential impacts of sea cage operations

BMT will deliver a state-of-the-art EIA approach to assess the potential impacts of sea cage operations

BMT has been assigned to a project to determine the environmental carrying capacity of three new aquaculture sites off the coast of Dalma Island in the Arabian Gulf.

The project, commissioned by appointed by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), will deliver a state-of-the-art EIA approach to assess the potential impacts of sea cage operations in each of the three proposed sites.

“Proposed aquaculture developments such as these, however important to food security, must be undertaken using the best possible tools for predicting both the instantaneous and cumulative effects of aquaculture,” said Dr Glenn Shiell, Marine Scientist at BMT Oceanica.

BMT will use the same advanced modelling techniques that it used to enable a major Australian aquaculture facility to secure approval by the Western Australia Environment Protection Authority.

The environmental carrying capacity assessment will enable the team to determine how many tonnes of sea cage fish stock can be sustainably cultivated and analyse any impacts on the seafloor under the proposed sea cages.

Through its suite of modelling tools, BMT will also be able to determine how long it will take for the environment to recover once the fish farms are fallowed – this is a key consideration for the environmental management strategy.

BMT will also support the EAD in the development of an environmental management framework for the marine environment to ensure the ongoing operations are sustainable, as well as provide targeted training of EAD staff in all the tools used in this project.