Aquaculture in the Philippines

The majority of the world ́s aquaculture produced fish are from Asian countries where aquaculture facilities are often characterized by the heavy use of chemicals, antibiotics, overfeeding, and little environmental awareness and control. In particular, open fish cage farms cause dramatic increase in nutrients in surrounding ecosystems.
This, in turn, results in areas adjacent to fish farms typically being characterized by high bacterial abundances, high concentrations of chlorophyll and organic-matter-rich particles. Additionally, the rapid sinking of aggregated labile organic matter originating from aquacultures to the sea floor often leads to hypoxia and the loss of biodiversity and its ecosystem services.

Currently, there is an urgent need to investigate aquaculture practices as well as their ecological impact and social and economic backgrounds in order to design and improve the present aquaculture technology and increase sustainability and food safety.

The overall project goal, separated in four working packages is to examine the impacts of aquaculture effluents on 1) ambient microbial community structure, particularly distribution and spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes, 2) organic particle transportation and sedimentation rates of labile organic matter, 3) metabolic performance of cultured fish stock, and 4) a detailed investigation on human dimensions and stakeholder decisions towards aquaculture practices. Ultimately, these studies will enable predictions of ecosystem resilience and responses to environmental perturbations and provide management recommendations towards securing sustainable food resources.


Project Partners (Germany)

International Project Partners

Dr. Andreas Kunzman
Senior Scientist, Head of WG Ecophysiology, ZMT

Prof. Dr. Achim Schlüter
Senior Scientist, Head of WG Institutional and Behavioural Economics, ZMT

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grossart
Senior Scientist, Head of Aquatic Microbial Ecology Group, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fischeries, Berlin

Dr. Morten Iversen
Scientist and Research Group Leader Marum – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen
Institution: MARUM, University of Bremen

Prof. Dr. Carsten Schulz
Scientific Director of GMA (Gesellschaft für Marine Aquakultur), Universität Kiel


Adj. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Reichardt
Senior Scientist, Marine Microbiology, Bolinao Marine Laboratory, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Rokhmin Dahuri, MS.
Senior Scientist, Professor in Coastal and Ocean Management
Institution: Bogor Agricultural University, Kampus IPB DArmaga, Bogor, Indonesia