Theuerkauf et al 2021 habitat services shellfish seaweed aquaculture

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Theuerkauf, SJ, Barrett, LT, Alleway, HK, Costa-Pierce, BA, St. Gelais, A, Jones, RC. Habitat value of bivalve shellfish and seaweed aquaculture for fish and invertebrates: Pathways, synthesis and next steps. Rev Aquac. 2021; 00: 1– 19.


  • Provides literature review, but no original research. Reviews 65 studies of nekton at aquaculture sites.
  • Co-author Robert Jones is director of the global aquaculture alliance.
  • Acknowledges a spectrum of aquaculture practices, with positive, neutral, or negative effects on ecosystems.
  • Reviews literature and finds higher levels of nekton abundance and biodiversity in seaweed and bivalve aquaculture installation.
  • Aquaculture can have negative effects of shorebird foraging, and increase disease spread, and impacts to SAV particularly as scale and intensity increase.
  • Identifies five factors influencing aquaculture effects:
    1. Local environmental conditions
    2. Intensity and scale of culture
    3. Cultivation gear utilized
    4. Species cultivated
    5. Farm management practices
  • The review focuses on ways that suspended and surface bivalve culture can maximize ecosystem services, with a focus on positive effects of structure.