A PhD Dissertation Defense
"Marine Aquaculture Development:
Spatial Management, Conservation Opportunities, and Production Potential"
Monday, March 13, 2017
Faculty Advisor: Steven Gaines
Committee Members: Sarah Lester, Hunter Lenihan, Christopher Costello
Marine aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry that has profound implications for food security and the health of the environment. My doctoral work encompasses three different research projects focused on marine aquaculture potential and the management strategies that can be used to promote sustainable and conservation-focused development. First, I will present a framework for marine spatial planning for offshore aquaculture and show how spatial management can be used to maximize value and create synergies with other ocean management objectives. Second, using spatial modelling I assess the production potential for marine aquaculture at a global scale and conclude that vast areas of suitable aquaculture space exist in nearly every coastal country. This analysis demonstrates that suitable space is unlikely to limit marine aquaculture development, and that considerable flexibility exists to site farms in a way that aligns with economic, environmental, and social objectives. Finally, I use bioeconomic theory to identify if aquaculture may be a promising market solution for the recovery of threatened species.
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