Sample Environmental Studies and Forestry Paper on Environment Effects

Environment Effects

Q1. Risk Assessment

Before constructing the aquaculture facility, it is important to perform a risk assessment. Below is a discussion of risk factors that should be assessed:

A.    Suitable Environment: This helps to ascertain the organisms can be able to survive and thrive in the aquatic ecosystem (Devlin, Sundström & Muir, 2006). As well, it tries to address whether the facility meets the set structural integrity.

B.    Effects on water and users: The assessment question helps to establish whether the aquatic structure on the Island might impact other users. It takes consideration of the potential effects on historically, culturally, and navigationally relevant sites.

C.    Disease results: The assessment question is relevant in ascertaining whether cultured organisms are confirmed to be free from restricted and emergency pathogens. The aim of these questions is to minimize the risks of contaminating wild fish and spreading the disease to the cultured fish (Kolar & Lodge, 2002).

D.    Effects on Areas of Concern: This helps the user to establish whether the facility or cultured organisms could be dangerous in designated areas. Thus, the user is supposed to ascertain the proximity of the aquaculture structure to areas of concern and potential impacts on the rehabilitation of wildlife and fish.

Contaminants

1. Biological Pollution: Fish escaping from the aquaculture facility may endanger wild fish population by competition or inter-breeding, or even by spreading parasites and diseases.

2. Fish to fish feeds: The aquaculture may use significant quantities of wild fish as their feed ingredients, and this indirectly affects the marine ecosystems several miles from the aquaculture facility.

3. Eutrophication and organic pollution: The aquaculture facility may attribute to nutrient loading through uneaten feed and fish discharges.

4. Chemical Pollution: Several approved chemicals used in the aquaculture such as pesticides and antibiotics may harm untargeted species thus raising concerns. 

Q.2 Potential Effects on the flora and fauna

Often, the shellfish produces solid wastes comprising pseudo feces and feces. This particulate matter has inorganic and organic material which settles near the aquaculture facility in higher concentrations. Therefore, shellfish farming can lead to a build-up of matter underneath the installation which affects the quality of sediment due to solid wastes deposition.

In an organic environment where waste accumulation exceeds the rate at which it is broken down, severe effects may occur. For instance, light-dependent plant smothering and effects connected with increased activity of microorganisms and benthic fauna that utilize the surplus organic matter. The microorganisms’ activity may deplete the supply of oxygen both in the bottom water and sediment pore water (Canonico, Arthington, McCrary, & Thieme, 2005).  As a result, this leads to changes in benthic fauna and flora and sediment nutrient fluxes, particularly levels of nitrogen, sulphur, oxygen, and carbon.

Q.3 Additional Contaminants

Putting up an oil and gas terminal can have severe effects on the aquatic life. Marine oil spills increase volatile fractions evaporations like monoaromatic hydrocarbons and molecular weight alkanes. Usually, the impacts of oil toxicity are dependent on some factors. These may include the characteristics or composition, exposure routes, and oil bioavailability. In the case, these levels exceed the normal concentrations, the toxic additive impact of hydrocarbons can result in mortality. PAH is said to be the primary cause of toxicity. They have diverse metabolic pathways that release metabolites. These have carcinogenic and oxidative properties due to they are potential to attack and bind to proteins and DNA (Cabello, 2006).

These effects can be minimized by ensuring that there are less or no oil spills on the water bodies. As well, there can be measures to ensure that oil and gas terminal does not go through water paths.

Q4. The fish being raised in this aquaculture facility might not be healthy for human consumption if oil and gas terminal is constructed as planned. This is because there might be oil spills which are toxic and causing carcinogenic properties in the fish which may cause cancer and other illnesses to consumers (Sapkota, Sapkota, Kucharski, Burke, McKenzie, Walker & Lawrence, 2008).

Q5. Yes. The people along this coastal region have a reason to worry. As mentioned earlier, the use of chemicals like antibiotics and pesticides in the aquaculture facility can harm untargeted species.

Q6. Dumping the waste in a pit will lessen adverse effects on other aquatic life. What needs to be assessed is the effects of these wastes on the environment and other wildlife. Directing waste water from the facilities to a sewerage treatment plant will be great in ensuring that contaminated waste does not affects living organisms in water.

Q7. There is a need to consider whether the projects have long-term effects on humans. For instance, if these facilities turn to be harmful, they will affect human health after consuming fish products raised in a toxic environment.

Q8. When constructing the facilities it will be important to ensure that they do not obstruct or affect the natural habitats of the organisms. The facilities should be built while putting into consideration the possible effects on flora and fauna. There should be a measure to ensure that wastes are not emitted to the water body since this may pose health and survival concerns (Davenport, Black, Burnell, Cross, Culloty, Ekaratne & Thetmeyer, 2009).

Q9. In case the model is posing a danger to the other wildlife in water, I will make the model in such manner that toxic wastes are not directed to the water bodies. There can be a dumping site offshore to ensure that the facility has minimal adverse effects on other wild fish (O’Bryen & Lee, 2003).

 Q10. There should be measures of ensuring that there is a minimum disturbance on other wildlife while constructing the facilities.

Q11. To ensure that the facility poses minimal changes to the ecology, I would improve the aquaculture operations. This is by ensuring that from time to time, there are policies that must be followed to ensure the environment is friendly to all living organisms (De Silva & Soto, 2009). I can ensure that the discharges from the facilities are not directed to water as this may impact fauna, and flora.

References

Cabello, F. C. (2006). Heavy use of prophylactic antibiotics in aquaculture: a growing problem for human and animal health and for the environment.Environmental microbiology8(7), 1137-1144.

Canonico, G. C., Arthington, A., McCrary, J. K., & Thieme, M. L. (2005). The effects of introduced tilapias on native biodiversity. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems15(5), 463-483.

Davenport, J. C., Black, K. D., Burnell, G., Cross, T., Culloty, S., Ekaratne, S., … & Thetmeyer, H. (2009). Aquaculture: the ecological issues. John Wiley & Sons.

Devlin, R. H., Sundström, L. F., & Muir, W. M. (2006). Interface of biotechnology and ecology for environmental risk assessments of transgenic fish. Trends in biotechnology24(2), 89-97.

De Silva, S. S., & Soto, D. (2009). Climate change and aquaculture: potential impacts, adaptation and mitigation. Climate change implications for fisheries and aquaculture: overview of current scientific knowledge. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, (530), 151-212.

Kolar, C. S., & Lodge, D. M. (2002). Ecological predictions and risk assessment for alien fishes in North America. Science298(5596), 1233-1236.

O’Bryen, P. J., & Lee, C. S. (2003). Management of aquaculture effluents workshop discussion summary. Aquaculture226(1), 227-242.

Sapkota, A., Sapkota, A. R., Kucharski, M., Burke, J., McKenzie, S., Walker, P., & Lawrence, R. (2008). Aquaculture practices and potential human health risks: current knowledge and future priorities. Environment international34(8), 1215-1226.