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Sarah Dudas

Emeritus Canada Research Chair in Shellfish Aquaculture Ecosystem Interactions

Sarah Dudas

Building: 373 Room: 224
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Sarah Dudas, Canada Research Chair in Shellfish Aquaculture Ecosystem Interactions at VIU

Declining wild fish stocks have led to increased aquaculture development as an alternative to meet increasing global protein demands. In British Columbia, aquaculture is a relatively new industry that contributes significantly to the provincial economy, yet its cumulative environmental impacts are not well known. To ensure the sustainability – ecological, economic, and social – of this expanding

shellfish aquaculture industry, its impacts must be understood. Concern regarding cumulative environmental effects has led to a call for a more ecosystem-based understanding of aquaculture impacts. Dr. Sarah Dudas will examine these effects, using the resources and knowledge of both academia and industry, within the context of local coastal communities. Field studies will be conducted in the Baynes Sound area of Vancouver Island, an important area within the Georgia Basin Ecosystem that supports 50% of British Columbia’s cultured shellfish. Dr. Dudas’s short term goals are to examine the influence of activities, such as deployment of aquaculture structures, on coastal ecosystem components in offshore and nearshore habitats. Longer-term goals are: to address broader influences such as climate change on marine ecosystems; and to facilitate monitoring programs that address industry needs. Dr. Dudas will also develop an ecosystem model that describes shellfish-ecosystem interactions, including human activities.

The knowledge gained from these studies will provide essential information for the development of an economically sustainable industry, while minimizing environmental impacts. This is particularly important in light of the planned land and marine developments in this region.

Updated: June 16, 2017