Experiments on an integrated aquaculture system (seaweeds and marine fish) on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia: Efficiency comparison of two local seaweed species for nutrient biofiltration and production

Yousef S. Al-Hafedh, Aftab Alam*, Alejandro H. Buschmann, Kevin M. Fitzsimmons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Seaweeds absorb inorganic nutrient wastes from mariculture and reduce their undesirable environmental effects. Mariculture in Saudi Arabia is increasing rapidly, thus, to exploit aquaculture wastes and to reduce coastal pollution risks, local seaweeds were cultured using mariculture effluents in integration on the Red Sea coast. The aim of the present study was to test integrated aquaculture of seaweed and marine fish (Oreochromisspilurus) for the first time in Saudi Arabia and to determine the seaweeds, Ulvalactuca and Gracilariaarcuata, biomass production and inorganic nutrient bioremediation capabilities. Results showed that G. arcuata grew at a significantly higher rate (2.71% wet weightday -1) than U. lactuca (1.77% wet weightday -1). The biomass yield (42.38gwetweightm -2day -1) and net yield (91.11gwetweightday -1) of G. arcuata were also significantly higher than U. lactuca (27.39gwet weightm -2day -1 and 58.89gwetweightday -1, respectively). Gracilariaarcuata removed 0.45gm -2day -1 of total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) with 80.15% removal efficiency and 1.03gm -2day -1 of soluble phosphate with 41.06% efficiency. Ulvalactuca removed 0.42gm -2day -1 of TAN with 83.06% removal efficiency and 1.07gm -2day -1 of soluble phosphate with 41.11% efficiency. Total tissue carbon of both species reached 25.1-26.9% and nitrogen content reached 3.0-3.2% of dry weight. The C/N ratio for both seaweeds was <10, indicating that nitrogen was not a limiting factor in culture. Both seaweeds are suitable for integrated aquaculture and bioremediation, but G. arcuata has relatively higher growth potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalReviews in Aquaculture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Coastal integrated aquaculture
  • Marine fish
  • Red Sea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seaweeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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