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Ecological Engineering
Volume 176, 2022, 106525

Integration of multitrophic aquaculture approach with marine energy projects for management and restoration of coastal ecosystems of India

Kapilkumar Nivrutti Inglea,b, Mark Polikovskyc, Mulugeta Chanie Fentad

Department of Ecology, University of Szeged, Hungary.

Abstract

Coastal areas of India have a big potential for establishing renewable energy projects, which are generally regarded as green energy sources. However, such projects' construction work may cause a negative environmental impact on the surrounding waters. Aquaculture projects based on seaweed and fisheries, commonly referred to as integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA), can help to mitigate these impacts. Although the purpose of any IMTA is to recirculate the waste products from cultivated species and not to mitigate the environmental impacts of energy projects, IMTA may serve as a complementary activity to compensate for the environmental impacts of marine energy projects. In return, marine energy projects can provide a few facilities to IMTA projects in their areas. IMTA projects are already practised in some parts of the world; however, rare examples are available with marine energy projects. This study aims to put an idea of potential IMTA projects in the areas of the proposed first offshore wind farm in India. This study also recommends the possible utilisation of the potential tidal energy plant in the estuary as a nursery for a few species in IMTA on the western coast of India. In addition, the current study discussed some major challenges, such as seasonal variations, ecological risks, selection of IMTA components, legal, economic and regulatory and social acceptance. Overcoming these challenges can promote further development of IMTA projects in Indian coastal waters.

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