Institute of

Sea Fisheries
Sea Fisheries Seas Fisheries

Marine spatial planning for aquaculture: The development of a GIS Add-in at the Thünen Institute

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In order to provide increased space of high water quality for aquaculture, our scientists developed a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based planning tool.

www.aquaspace-h2020.eu (© www.aquaspace-h2020.eu)

Taking advantage of the fastest growing animal food-producing sector, the delivery of sustainable food security and increased employment opportunities through economic growth is supported by optimizing space availability for European Aquaculture.

In order to provide increased space of high water quality for aquaculture, scientists at the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries developed a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based planning tool: The AquaSpace tool empowers an integrated assessment and mapping of 30 indicators reflecting inter-sectorial, environmental, economic, and socio-cultural risks and opportunities for proposed aquaculture systems, based on European-wide open source data.

The computation of aquaculture planning scenarios and the assessment of their trade-offs in the southern North Sea showed that it is entirely possible to identify aquaculture sites that correspond to multiple potential challenges, for instance by a low conflict potential, a low risk of disease spread, a comparable high economic profit and a low impact on touristic attractions.

The broader applicability of the AquaSpace tool is currently tested in several European case studies such as Spain, Italy, Scotland and Germany.

If you have questions regarding this topic, feel free to contact Dr. Antje Gimpel.