Geographic information systems, remote sensing and mapping for the development and management of marine aquaculture

FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 458

Geographic information systems,
remote sensing and mapping for
the development and management
of marine aquaculture



James McDaid Kapetsky
Consultant

and

José Aguilar-Manjarrez
Fishery Resources Officer

Aquaculture Management and Conservation Service
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Rome, 2007

Table of Contents

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ISBN 978-92-5-105646-2

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© FAO 2007

Kapetsky, J.M.; Aguilar-Manjarrez, J.
Geographic information systems, remote sensing and mapping for the development and management of marine aquaculture.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 458. Rome. FAO. 2007. 125p.

ABSTRACT

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and mapping have a role to play in all geographic and spatial aspects of the development and management of marine aquaculture. Satellite, airborne, ground and undersea sensors acquire much of the related data, especially data on temperature, current velocity, wave height, chlorophyll concentration and land and water use. GIS is used to manipulate and analyze spatial and attribute data from all sources. It is also used to produce reports in map, database and text format to facilitate decision-making.

The objective of this document is to illustrate the ways in which Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing and mapping can play a role in the development and management of marine aquaculture per se and in relation to competing and conflicting uses. The perspective is global. The approach is to employ example applications that have been aimed at resolving many of the important issues in marine aquaculture. The focus is on the ways tools have been employed for problem solving, not on the tools and technologies themselves. In this regard, we consider GISFish, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Internet gateway to GIS, remote sensing and mapping as applied to aquaculture and inland fisheries, as a complementary resource to this technical paper.

The underlying purpose is to stimulate the interest of individuals in the government, industry and educational sectors of marine aquaculture to make more effective use of these tools. A brief introduction to spatial tools and their use in the marine fisheries sector precedes the example applications. The most recent applications have been selected to be indicative of the state of the art, allowing readers to make their own assessments of the benefits and limitations of use of these tools in their own disciplines. Other applications have been selected in order to illustrate the evolution of the development of the tools.

The main emphasis is on GIS. Remote sensing is viewed as an essential tool for the capture of data subsequently to be incorporated into a GIS and for real time monitoring of environmental conditions for operational management of aquaculture facilities. Maps usually are one of the outputs of a GIS, but can be effective tools for spatial communication in their own right. Thus, examples of mapping for aquaculture are included.

The applications are organized issue-wise along the main streams of marine aquaculture: culture of fishes in cages, culture of shellfishes and culture of marine plants. Both the recent and historical applications are summarized in tables. Because data availability is one of the prime issues in the use of spatial tools in marine aquaculture, a case study is included that illustrates how freely downloadable data can be used to estimate marine aquaculture potential and a section is devoted to describing various kinds of data. Because the ultimate purpose of GIS is to aid decision-making, a section on decision support tools is included.

Finally, we summarize our findings and reach some conclusions on the state of the application of GIS, remote sensing and mapping for the development and management of marine aquaculture.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Preparation of this document
Abstract
Acknowledgements
Figures
Tables
Acronyms and abbreviations

INTRODUCTION

Objectives and overview
The importance of marine aquaculture
Spatial context of near shore and offshore
  issues shaping marine aquaculture
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems,
  remote sensing and mapping
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS, REMOTE SENSING
AND MAPPING IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT AND FISHERIES
SECTOR – AN OVERVIEW
History of Geographic Information Systems
Geographic Information Systems in the marine environment
Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, and mapping
  publications in the fisheries sector
REVIEW OF SELECTED APPLICATIONS
Mapping applications in marine aquaculture
Remote sensing applications in marine aquaculture
Geographic Information Systems applications in marine quaculture
Economics, socio-economics and GIS
ESTIMATING OPEN OCEAN AQUACULTURE POTENTIAL
IN EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONES WITH REMOTE SENSING
AND GIS: A RECONNAISSANCE
Introduction
Materials and methods
Results
Discussion
DATA AVAILABILITY
Geographic Information Systems data with global coverage
National data
DECISION-MAKING AND MODELLING TOOLS IN GIS
Introduction
Classification
Multi-criteria Evaluation
Modelling
Decision support tools
SUMMARY, DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
Summary
Discussion and conclusions
GLOSSARY
References