New technique to test impact aquaculture

15-01-2007 | |

A DNA technique pioneered in the wine industry to test soil health is being adapted to monitor the environmental impact of fish farms in the sea.

A team of scientists is travelling the waters of the Spencer Gulf in South
Australia, fine-tuning the test. Ian Nightingale from Primary Industries South Australia says
the technique involves testing sediment taken from under the sea cages fish are
grown in. “The difference that we’re trying to achieve is to make those tests
more efficient and fast and accurate,’ he said.

“The current procedure is
those samples are taken from the seabed, they are then taken to a laboratory and
they’re analysed manually by someone looking through a microscope, literally
counting these small creatures individually. “Whereas this technology allows the
same sort of DNA technology that forensic labs are
using.”

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