Nutrient-Balance Modeling as a Tool for Environmental Management in Aquaculture: The Case of Trout Farming in France
The control and prevention of nutrient pollution from fish farming plays an essential role in the French regulatory framework. Assessing nutrient emissions from fish farms is important in terms of farm authorization, taxation, and monitoring. Currently employed strategies involve both water sampling and empirical modeling. This article reports the work and outcomes of an expert panel that evaluated existing methodologies and their possible alternatives. The development and evaluation of a nutrient-balance approach was assessed as a potential alternative to currently used methodologies. A previously described nutrient-balance model was suggested and parameterized using expert choice, and its validity and applicability were assessed. The results stress that the nutrient-balance model provides more robust and relatively conservative waste estimates compared to the currently used methodologies. Sensitivity of the approach to the uneven data quality available at farm level, difficulties of on-farm measurements, as well as model requirements and limitations are discussed.