Journal article

Impacts of marine and freshwater aquaculture on wildlife: a global meta-analysis

Luke Barrett, Stephen E Swearer, Tim Dempster

Center for Open Science


The global expansion of aquaculture has raised concerns about its environmental impacts, including effects on wildlife. Aquaculture farms are thought to repel some species and function as either attractive population sinks (‘ecological traps’) or population sources for others. We conducted a systematic review and meta‐analysis of empirical studies documenting interactions between aquaculture operations and vertebrate wildlife. Farms were associated with elevated local abundance and diversity of wildlife, although this overall effect was strongly driven by aggregations of wild fish at sea cages and shellfish farms (abundance: 72×; species richness: 2.0×). Birds were also more diverse at farms..

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