University of Twente Student Theses


The grey water footprint of antimicrobials used for aquaculture production

Dolmans, E. (2022) The grey water footprint of antimicrobials used for aquaculture production.

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Abstract:Aquaculture has an increasingly important role in feeding a growing world population. However this should be done in a sustainable manner. Currently, intensification of the aquaculture sector results in more animals packed together, increasing the risks of spreading diseases. As a reaction, aquaculture producers use antimicrobials to control disease outbreaks and as treatment for afflicted fish. Unfortunately, the use of these antimicrobials results in water pollution, as effluents of aquaculture farms are discharged into the environment. Besides, with the over consumption of antimicrobials, there is the risk of the emergence of antimicrobial resitsance. The grey water footprint is an indicator to measure freshwater pollution. As the grey water footprint resulting from antimicrobial use in aquaculture has not yet been accounted for in any previous research, the objective of this study is to estimate the antimicrobial consumption in freshwater aquaculture and to determine the resulting grey water footprint. Aquaculture production volumes from the 15 largest freshwater aquaculture producing countries (China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Brazil, Iran, Thailand, Philippines, Egypt, Cambodia, Nigeria, United States of America, Russian Federation) are combined with species specific antimicrobial use coefficients, resulting from a systematic literature review, to estimate the antimicrobial use in each country. Different aquaculture species categories are created, resulting in antimicrobial use data on different species in each country. The grey water footprint is estimated per individual active ingredients for each different species in each country. In conclusion, this study reports that in 2019, the global leading freshwater aquaculture producing countries, which represent 92% of global freshwater aquaculture production, are estimated to consume 12,252 tons of antimicrobials in freshwater aquaculture. Antimicrobial consumption is especially high in the AsiaPacific region. The most commonly utilized antimicrobial class in global freshwater aquaculture, in terms of frequency of usage, was tetracyclines (70%). Oxytetracycline is the most used antimicrobial in freshwater aquaculture, with a resulting global grey water of 12,860 km3 /y. For comparison, the annual discharge of the Amazon, the worlds largest river, is around half this amount: 6,595 km3 /y. This shows the significance of antimicrobials on the global water pollution. As there is still a large knowledge gap on antimicrobial use, future research should delve into broadening the knowledge about antimicrobial consumption in freshwater aquaculture.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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