Earth Observation and Socio-Economic Data Visualisation for Aquaculture



Aquaculture Europe Conference 2016,


21/09/2016 - 2:30 pm


21/09/2016 - 5:00 pm

The Catapult-NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow, Eleni Papathanasopoulou from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, will be presenting the results of her aquaculture research programme at the “UK Aquaculture Initiative” Industry Forum at the forthcoming Aquaculture Europe 2016 conference in Edinburgh.

Eleni has been working on a visualisation tool to combine Earth observation, socio-economic and GIS data to inform decision making of inshore and offshore aquaculture farm locations.

The aquaculture industry is a key growth and strategic food sector in the UK and ambitious targets have been set for Scotland and Wales to increase their farmed finfish and shellfish production. These increases in the number of farms and their size will intensify competition for space in the sheltered inshore waters of the UK.  An opportunity for developing offshore aquaculture in the more exposed waters of the UK therefore exists but this will be technologically and economically challenging.

Eleni’s research programme, jointly supported by the Satellite Applications Catapult and NERC, has involved combining layers of relevant data to form a detailed visualisation of the physical and socio-economic indicators that could support marine governance and future marine economic prosperity and health.  The tool combines Earth observation data (chlorophyll concentration, sea surface temperature and suspended particulate matter); socio-economic data including employment and revenue, along with GIS data on current inshore/offshore aquaculture, (in)active oil and gas rigs and offshore renewables.  Additional layers include bathymetry and habitat maps relevant to the sector.

At the conference session Eleni will present her findings, demonstrate the tool and pose questions for discussion:

What information is essential to inform decision making and policy on the planning, location and management of inshore and offshore aquaculture to enable growth that we have not yet captured?

  • How can satellite technology further support current aquaculture operations and future expansion?
  • What combination of data sets and analysis would be of value to the sector?
  • How would the different parties involved in the sector need to access the data?

Find out more about Aquaculture Europe 2016 and register for the conference here:

The UK Aquaculture Initiative is a joint BBRSC and NERC initiative to support high-quality research and research translation within a growing community of people working together towards a mutual goal of developing a healthy, safe and sustainable UK aquaculture system.

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