Continuous water quality monitoring for the hard clam industry in Florida, USA

You are viewing information about the paper Continuous water quality monitoring for the hard clam industry in Florida, USA.

Journal: Environ Monit Assess 2008/03/06
Published: 2008
Authors: Bergquist, D. C.;Heuberger, D.;Sturmer, L. N.;Baker, S. M.
Address: Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, IFAS, University of Florida, 7922 NW 71st ST, Gainesville, FL, 32653, USA.

In 2000, Florida's fast-growing hard clam aquaculture industry became eligible for federal agricultural crop insurance through the US Department of Agriculture, but the responsibility for identifying the cause of mortality remained with the grower. Here we describe the continuous water quality monitoring system used to monitor hard clam aquaculture areas in Florida and show examples of the data collected with the system. Systems recording temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, water depth, turbidity and chlorophyll at 30 min intervals were installed at 10 aquaculture lease areas along Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Six of these systems sent data in real-time to a public website, and all 10 systems provided data for web-accessible archives. The systems documented environmental conditions that could negatively impact clam survival and productivity and identified biologically relevant water quality differences among clam aquaculture areas. Both the real-time and archived data were used widely by clam growers and nursery managers to make management decisions and in filing crop loss insurance claims. While the systems were labor and time intensive, we recommend adjustments that could reduce costs and staff time requirements.

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