Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
Title: Isotopic analysis to improve fisheries management and aquaculture operations
Biography: Debashish Mazumder
Water is a vital resource that is under ever increasing demand from population, industry growth, agricultural development and environmental allocations that are crucial to sustain the natural ecosystems upon which we all rely. Understanding source, fate of energy and nutrients in aquatic ecosystems is fundamental for the sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture operations. I will present findings from my collaborative works with multiple government agencies and universities where nuclear and isotopic techniques have been used in freshwater and marine environments including aquaculture to solve problems that challenges the sustainability of these resources. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic techniques helped identify nutrient sources for fish in rivers, wetlands and estuaries. It also helps determine how nutrient sources change as a result of anthropogenic and climatic conditions, which is important when making management decisions. Isotopic work in a temperate river in Australia identified how the niche diversity of fish was constrained due to habitat modification and discontinuity in river connectivity. Isotopic application in coral habitats identified the functional role of coral and their links with other species in marine environments. The isotopic applications in oyster larvae production in the hatchery in New South Wales, Australia and inland finfish aquaculture at PNG suggest operational costs can be reduced by carefully utilising production inputs, or changing the ingredients used in feed formulations. These results provide insight for further applications of isotopic and nuclear techniques to determine whether management practices affect the valuable nutritional quality of fish.