Researchers in the Sustainable Aquaculture Research Group have recently published a new article “Investigation of a novel approach for aquaculture site selection”. The study by Dr Lynne Falconer, Professor Trevor Telfer and Professor Lindsay Ross, uses pangasisus culture in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, as a case study to evaluate the use of species distribution models (SDMs) for aquaculture site selection against the commonly used multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) approach.
In the study, SDMs are used to analyse the conditions of selected input variables at existing farms and identify other similar areas throughout the study area. This new method overcomes some of the subjectivity that can occur in the MCE approach regarding data reclassificaiton and weighting but there are also some disadvantages to MCE. As this is the first application of SDMs for aquaculture site selection, further work is necessary, but the results indicate that SDMs could provide an alternative approach for aquaculture site selection and a hybrid approach combining SDM and MCE models may be advantageous for decision makers.
This work was part of the EU-FP7 Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade (SEAT) project.