Researchers model tradeoffs and opportunities for aquaculture development in the Southern California Bight
Earth’s vast and vital oceans are a critical source of economic productivity, but issues of space management, interindustry conflict and environmental degradation often limit sustainable commercial development.
Now, researchers have developed a new model that weighs the tradeoffs and opportunities for aquaculture development in the Southern California Bight. The system, created by a group that includes Carrie Kappel, a senior fellow at UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, looks specifically at three types of offshore aquaculture as well as existing wild-capture fisheries, scenic views, disease risk and impacts to seafloor communities. The team’s findings appear in the journal Nature Communications.
“Our holistic analytical model balances the location, type and intensity of ocean uses across sectors and industries,” explained Kappel, a member of the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. “It could herald a new paradigm of environmentally sustainable ocean usage and management.”
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Image via Rebecca Gentry, University of California Santa Barbara