Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in aquaculture effluent: Insight into breeding and rearing activities, alarming impacts, regulations, performance of wastewater treatment unit and future approaches

Chemosphere. 2022 Mar:290:133319. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.133319. Epub 2021 Dec 16.


The contamination of aquaculture products and effluents by contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) from the direct chemical use in aquaculture activities or surrounding industries is currently an issue of increasing concern as these CECs exert acute and chronic effects on living organisms. CECs have been detected in aquaculture water, sediment, and culture species, and antibiotics, antifoulants, and disinfectants are the commonly detected groups. Through accumulation, CECs can reside in the tissue of aquaculture products and eventually consumed by humans. Currently, effluents containing CECs are discharged to the surrounding environment while producing sediments that eventually contaminate rivers as receiving bodies. The rearing (grow-out) stages of aquaculture activities are issues regarding CECs-contamination in aquaculture covering water, sediment, and aquaculture products. Proper regulations should be imposed on all aquaculturists to control chemical usage and ensure compliance to guidelines for appropriate effluent treatment. Several techniques for treating aquaculture effluents contaminated by CECs have been explored, including adsorption, wetland construction, photocatalysis, filtration, sludge activation, and sedimentation. The challenges imposed by CECs on aquaculture activities are discussed for the purpose of obtaining insights into current issues and providing future approaches for resolving associated problems. Stakeholders, such as researchers focusing on environment and aquaculture, are expected to benefit from the presented results in this article. In addition, the results may be useful in establishing aquaculture-related CECs regulations, assessing toxicity to living biota, and preventing pollution.

Keywords: Emerging contaminant; Farming; Fish; Pollutant; Pollution.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aquaculture
  • Breeding
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Wastewater
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / toxicity
  • Water Purification*


  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical