Assessment of fish farm effluents on macroinvertebrates based on biological indices in Tajan River (north Iran)


1 - Dept. of Fishery, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Someh Sara, Iran 2- Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Someh Sara, Iran

2 M. Sharifinia

3 J. Imanpour Namin*, M. Sharifinia, A. Bozorgi Makrani


Impacts of effluent from fish farming activities on fluvial ecosystems lead to deterioration of water quality and changes in the macroinvertebrates assemblage. In this study, the influence of fish farm effluents on water quality and macroinvertebrates communities of Tajan River was investigated to evaluate the suitability of macroinvertebrates based on biological metrics and indices. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities were analyzed seasonally for a period of one year . Five sampling stations were selected along the study reach of 50 km. Station 1(S1) which is located upstream from the fish farm, was used as the reference site. Station S2 and S3 were located downstream from the fish farm outlet; S4 and S5 were further downstream. In order to assess the changes in diversity and richness in relation to water quality, two major groups of sites based on similarity between macroinvertebrate communities identified by cluster analysis. Diversity of macroinvertebrates, EPT richness and EPT/CHIR indices significantly decreased toward downstream stations except for station S4. Conversely, values of HFBI and Jacard index significantly increased in the downstream stations. The present study revealed significant differences in water quality parameters between the stations located above and below the fish farms. Owing to the relatively high diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates inhabiting rivers, use of macroinvertebrate based biological indices is recommended for assessment of water quality and pollution in fluvial systems.


Abel, P. D. (1989) Water pollution biology. Ellis Horwood, Chichester, England.
Axler, R. P., Tikkanen, C., Henneck, J., Schuldt, J., McDonald, M. E. (1997) Characteristics of effluent and sludge from two commercial rainbow trout farms in Minnesota. The Progessive Fish-Cultture 59: 161-172.
Bartoli, M., Nizzoli, D., Longhi, D., Laini, A., Viaroli, P. (2007) Impact of a trout on the water quality of an Apennine creek from daily budgets of nutrients. Chemical. Ecology 23: 1–11.
Beasley, D.B., Allen, J.B. (1974) A characterization of the effluent from commercial catfish ponds. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Paper no. 74-5004, St. Joseph, MI.
Bis, B., Zdanowicz, A., Zalewski, M. (2000) Effect of catchment properties on hydrochemistry, habitat complexity and invertebrate community structure in a lowland river. Hydrobiologia422/423: 369–387.
Boaventura, R., Pedro, A. M., Coimbra, J., Lencastre, E. (1997) Trout farm effluents: Characterization and impact on the receiving streams. Environmental Pollution. 95: 379-387.
Boyd, C. E., C. S. Tucker. (1998) Pond Aquaculture Water Quality Management.Kluwer Academic Publishers. Boston, MA.
Boyd, C.E., Gautier, D. (2000) Effluent composition and water quality standards.Advocate, 3, 61-66. Camargo, J. A. (1992) Structural and trophic alterations in macrobenthic communities downstream from a fish farm outlet. Hydrobiology. 242: 41-49.
Camargo, J. A. (1994) The importance of biological monitoring for the ecological risk-assessment of freshwater pollution: A case study. Environment International 20: 229-238.
Camargo, J.A., Alonso, A., de la Puente, M., 2004. Millimetres assessment of nutrient enrichment in impounded rivers based on benthic macroin-vertebrates. Environmental Monitoring . Assessment 96, 233–249.
Imanpour et al., 37Camargo, J.A., Gonzalo, C., Alonso, A. (2011) Assessing trout farm pollution by biological metrics and indices based on aquatic macrophytes and benthic macroinvertebrates: A case study. Ecological Indicators. 11: 911-917.
Courtenay, W.R., Jr., J.D. Williams. (1992) Dispersal of exotic species from aquaculture sources, with emphasis on freshwater fishes. Pp. 49-81 in A.
Rosenfield and R. Mann (eds.), Dispersal of living organisms into aquatic ecosystems. College Park, MD: Maryland Sea Grant College, University of Maryland.
Crawford, C., Macleod, C., Mitchell, I. (2002) Evaluation of techniques for environmental monitoring of salmon farms in Tasmania. Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute Technical Report Series 8.
Crawford, C.M., Mitchell, I.M., Macleod, C.K.A. (2001) Video assessment of environmental impacts of salmon farms. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 58: 445–452.
Davis, J. (1993) Survey of aquaculture effluents permitting and 1993 standards in the South. Southern Regional Aquaculture Center, SRAC Publication no. 465. USA, 4 pp.
Doughty, C. R., McPhail, C. D. (1995) Monitoring the environmental impacts and consent compliance of freshwater fish farms. Aquaculture Research 26: 557-565.
Giller, P. S., B. Malmquist. (1998) The biology of streams and rivers, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Goldburg, R. and T. Triplett. 1997. Murky waters: Environmental effects of aquaculture in the US. Environment Defence Fund. 198pp.
Hellawel, J. M. (1986) Biological indicators of freshwater pollution and environmental management.
Elsevier, London. Hilsenhoff, W. L. (1977) Use of arthropods to evaluate water quality of streams. Technical Bulletin No. 100, Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin.
Hilsenhoff, W.L. (1988) Rapid field assessment of organic pollution with a family level biotic index. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 7: 65-68.
Hughes, B.D. (1978) The influence of factors other than pollution on the value of Shannon’s diversity index for bentic macroinvertebrates in stream. Water Research 12: 359-372.
Jones, J.G. (1990) Pollution from fish farms. J. Inst. Water Environ. Manage. 4: 14–18.
Kamali, M., Esmailisari, A., Kaivan, A., Naderi, M. (2009) Biomonitoring Lasm River use of macroinvertebrates, Iran. Science Environmental Journal. 1: 51-61.
Karr, J. R. (1981) Assessment of biotic integrity using fish communities. Fisheries. 6: 21 – 27.
Kendra, W. (1991) Quality of salmonid hatchery effluents during a summer low-flow season. Trans American Fisheries Society. 120: 43-51.
Lawson, T.B. (1995) Fundamentals of Aquaculture Engineering. Chapman and Hall, New York, 335pp.
Lenat, D. R. (1988) Water quality assessment of streams using a qualitative collection method for benthic macroinvertebrates. North American Bentho. Society. 7: 222 – 233.
Lenat, D. R., Smock, L. A., D. L. Penrose. (1980) Use of benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of environmental quality, In: Biological monitoring for environmental effects, Worf, D. L (Ed), 97 – 112. D. C. Heath,
Lexington, MA. Lin, K., Y. Yi. (2003) Minimizing environmental impacts of freshwater aquaculture and reuse of pond effluents and mud. Aquaculture. 226: 57 – 68.
Loch, D.D., West, J.L., Perlmutter, D.G. (1996) The effect of trout farm effluent on the taxa richness of benthic macroinvertebrates. Aquaculture. 147: 37–55.
Masoudiyan, M., Falahiyan, F., Nejadsattari, T., Metaji, A. and Khavarinejad, R. (2010) Epilitic diatoms and Tajan River, Mazandaran province. Biological Knowledge Iran. 4: 57-66.
Midlen, A., Redding, T.A. (1998) Environmental Management for Aquaculture. Kluwer Academic Publishers, London: 215pp. Mottram, B., 1996. Firm‘s Atlantic salmon loss NW anglers‘gain. Morning News Assessment of fish farm...38T
ribune (Tacoma, WA; October 23, 1996). Naylor, R. L., R. J. Goldburg, J. H., Primavera, N., Kautsky, M. C., M. Beveridge, J. Clay, C. Folke, J., Lubchenco, H. Mooney, M. Troell. (2000) Effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies. Nature. 405: 1017–1024.
Needham, J. G. (1976) A guide to the study of freshwater biology. Holden Sanfrancisco. 107 p. Oscoz, J., Leunda, P.M., Miranda, R., Escala, M.C. (2005) Calidad biolo ́ gica de las aguas en el RI’o Erro (Navarra, N Espana) (2001–2002). Ecologı’a 19, 59–74 (In Spanish with English summary).
Pennak, R.W. (1953) Freshwater invertebrates of United States. The Ronald Press Company. 769 p. Pescador, M.L., Rasmussen, A.K., Harris, S.C. (2004) Identification manual for the caddis fly (Trichoptera) larvae of Florida,Department of Environmental Protection, Florida.
Quigley, M. (1986) Invertebrates of streams and rivers. Head of Studies in Environmental Biology. Nene College. Northampton, Edward Arnold. 83 p.
Resh, V. H., J. K., Jackson. (1993) Rapid assessment approaches to biomonit-oring using benthic macroinv-ertebrates. In: Freshwater biomonitoring and benthic macroinvertebrates. Rosen-berg, D. M. and V. H. Resh (Eds), 195 – 233. Chapman and Hall, New York. Roberts,
L., Boardman, G., Voshell, R. (2009) Benthic macroinvertebrate susceptibility to trout farm effluents. Water Environmental Research 81: 150–159. Rosenberg, D. M., V. H., Resh. (1993) Introduction to freshwater biomoni-toring and benthic macroinvertebrates. In: Freshwater Biomonitoring and Benthic Macro invertebrates, D. M. Rosenberg, and V. H. Resh (Eds), pp. 1 – 9.
Chapman and Hall, New York. Ruiz-Zarzuela, I., Halaihel, N., Balcázar, J.L., Ortega, C., Vendrell, D., Pérez, T., Alonso, J.L., de Blas, I. (2009) Effect of fish farming on the water quality of rivers in northeast Spain. WST. 60: 663–671.
Scardi, M., Tancioni, L., S. Cataudella. (2006) Monitoring methods based on fish. In: Biological monitoring of rivers; applications and perspectives, Ziglio, G., Siligardi, M. and G. Flaim (Eds). 135 – 153.
Wiley, New Jersey. Selong, J. H., Helfrich, L. A. (1998) Impacts of trout culture effluent on water quality and biotic communities in Virginia headwater streams. The Progressive Fish-Culturist 60: 247-262.
Shireman, J. V., C. E., Cichra. (1994) Evaluation of aquaculture effluents. Aquaculture. 123: 55-68.
Simões, F.S., Moreira, A.B., Bisinoti, M.C., Gimenez, S.M.N., Yabe, M.J.S. (2008) Water quality index as a simple indicator of aquaculture effects on aquatic bodies. Ecological. Indicators. 8: 476–484.
Suess, M. J. (1982) Examination of water for pollution control. A reference handbook. Vol 3. Biological, bacteriological and virological examination. Pergamon Press, Oxford.
Tachet, H., Richoux, H., Richoux, P., Oumaud, M., Usseglio- Polatera, p. (2000) Invertebrates d Eau Douce. Systematique, Biologie, Ecologie. CNRS Editions Paris ISBN 2-271 057450.
Tachet, H., Richoux, P. (2002) Invertebres d‘eau douce. Systematique, biologie, ecologie. CNRS Edition: Paris. Cited in: Biological monitoring of rivers; applications and perspectives, Ziglio, G., Siligardi, M. and G. Flaim (Eds). 135 – 153.
Wiley, New Jersey. Tucker, C. S., J. A. Hargreaves. (2003) Management of effluents from channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) emban-kment ponds in the southeastern United States. Aquaculture. 226: 5 –21.
UNE-EN 27828. (1994) Water quality. Methods of biological sampling. Guidance on hand net of aquatic macroinvertebrates (ISO 7828:1985).
Washington, H.G. (1984) Diversity, biotic and similarity indices. A review with special relevance to aquatic ecosystems. Water Research 18: 653–694.
Zivic, I., Markovic, Z., Filipovic-Rojka, Z., Zivic, M. (2009) Influence of a trout farm on water quality and macroz-oobenthos communities of the recei-ving stream (Tresnjica River, Serbia). International. Review of Hydrobiolgy 94: 673–687.