Zooremediation of contaminated aquatic systems through aquaculture initiatives

S. Gifford, G. R. Macfarlane, C. E. Koller, R. H. Dunstan*, W. O'Connor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The ability of animals to act in a bioremediative capacity is not widely known. Animals are rarely considered for bioremediation initiatives due largely to ethical or human health concerns. Nonetheless, specific examples in the literature reveal that many aquatic species, including species employed in aquaculture, are effective remediators of metals, microbial contaminants, hydrocarbons, nutrients and persistent organic pollutants. We introduce zoological equivalents of the definitions used in the phytoremediation literature (zooextraction, zootransformation, zoostabilisation and animal hyperaccumulation), to serve as useful benchmarks in the evaluation of candidate animal species for zooremediation initiatives. Further, we present a case study assessing the deployment of pearl oysters to remove metals and nutrients from aquatic ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew technologies in aquaculture
Subtitle of host publicationImproving production efficiency, quality and environmental management
EditorsGavin Burnell, Geoff Allan
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherWoodhead Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781845696474
ISBN (Print)9781845693848
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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