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Aquaculture - Fluorometer Applications

Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic plants, involves cultivating marine and freshwater populations under controlled conditions.  Operating in marine, brackish, and freshwater environments, aquaculture provides food for people and, on a smaller scale, supplies fish for stocking lakes, bait for fishing, and live specimens for home aquariums.

Ensuring water quality characteristics are within desired levels is an important part of aquaculture operations.  Monitoring chlorophyll levels can assist in determining feeding and growth cycles.  Monitoring CO2 levels is important to ensure proper growth and development of finfish as well as precipitation of calcium carbonate for creation of shellfish shells.  Other key water quality parameters such as blue/green algae and CDOM/FDOM as well as the possible introduction of detrimental substances such as oils or sewerage should also be monitored. 

In addition to water quality parameters, histamine levels in fish are important to monitor.  As certain bacteria break down the muscle tissue of fish, they produce high levels of histamines which can cause symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.  Rapid, prolonged chilling of the fish is required to prevent the formation of histamines.  Fluorometry is a low-cost, simple method of histamine detection with sensitivity levels as low as 5ppb.