Planning tools for environmentally sustainable tropical finfish cage culture in Indonesia and northern Australia.
Most work to date on the environmental effects of fish cage culture has concentrated on farm level impacts and almost all have been on temperate systems. Little has been done until now in the tropics.
This Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)-funded project, Planning tools for environmentally sustainable tropical finfish cage culture in Indonesia and northern Australia , aims to develop and apply planning tools to establish sustainable capacity thresholds for tropical finfish cage aquaculture. It began in 2003 and represents a "whole of ecosystem approach".
Bathurst Island Northern Territory. Image: Lindsay Trott.
This project is in collaboration with another ACIAR project, Land capability assessment and classification for sustainable pond-based, aquaculture systems , and has involved scientists at AIMS as well as partner agencies including the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the Research Institute for Coastal Aquaculture (RICA), South Sulawesi, and the National Seafarming Development Centre, Lampung, Indonesia.
The outcomes of this project will allow for aquaculture planning in the broader context of the coastal zone, including both pond-based and near-shore aquaculture, with the introduction, for the first time in Indonesia, of a combined coastal aquaculture classification scheme.
Sea cage farms in Sulawesi. Image: A. D. McKinnon.
The combination of modelling tools and mapping products will result in better management of the rapidly expanding coastal aquaculture in Indonesia. At local scales this will involve recommendations for on-farm management, especially regarding the location of cage arrays and feeding practices. Because of the diverse nature of the study sites, it is hoped the planning tools developed will be applicable on a regional scale.