Credits: Lucut Razvan on unsplash
Aquaculture is currently the fastest-growing food production industry and accounts for more than half of seafood production. This rapid growth is projected to double by 2050 to meet the rising demand for seafood, which is unlikely to be met by wild capture fisheries as many species are fully or overexploited and will be further limited by climate change impacts. However, marine aquaculture relies on environmental factors which will also experience shifts due to climate change. Understanding how these shifts will affect aquaculture species and regions will enable the industry to plan for and adapt to a changing marine environment.
This research project will take a modeling approach to examine how climate change will impact the spatio-temporal distributions of marine aquaculture species and global regions of marine aquaculture development. Additionally, this project will investigate the impacts climate change and species movement will have on the socio-economic factors limiting the growth of the industry including production yield, marine areas zoned for aquaculture, industry resource needs, and government investment. The culmination of this project will be an index of aquaculture suitability to aid governments and the aquaculture industry in establishing management techniques to facilitate the continued growth and sustainability of aquaculture in a changing climate.