AbstractsEarth & Environmental Science

The use of remote sensing and GIS for modelling aquaculture site suitability in relation to changing climate

by Neil Handisyde

Institution: University of Stirling
Year: 2015
Keywords: GIS; geographic information systems; remote sensing; earth observation; climate change; aquaculture; modelling; RS; EO; Aquaculture Geographic information systems; Aquaculture Climatic factors; Sustainable development
Record ID: 1398520
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21885


Globally fish production has continued to increase during recent years at a rate exceeding that of human population growth. However the contribution from capture fisheries has remained largely static since the late 1980s with the increase in production being accounted for by dramatic growth in the aquaculture sector. As of 2012 aquaculture accounted for approximately 42% of total fisheries production and 78% of inland fish production. In view of these figures it is unsurprising that for a number of regions aquaculture represents an important source of both food security and income. The use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and spatial data have seen substantial developments in recent years with the help of increasingly affordable computing capacity. From an aquaculture perspective the use of GIS has shown significant potential as a means of combining varied data sources, including those acquired via remote sensing, into models to provide decision support in relation to site selection. A common theme amongst site suitability assessments is the incorporation of climate variables relating to temperature and water availability. These factors in turn can have a significant influence on aquaculture in terms of water availability and quality, and temperature modulated growth performance. There is now a strong consensus that during the 20th century, and especially during recent decades, the earth has experienced a significant warming trend. There is also strong agreement that this warming trend is at least partially a consequence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and that some degree of further warming is inevitable. While global warming is typically discussed in terms of degrees centigrade of average global temperature increase the full effects in terms of climate changes will be varied both in terms of location and season. The current project focuses on site suitability for aquaculture in relation to changing climate conditions. Significant use is made of GIS and a range of spatial data including remotely sensed data and output from a series of climate models. The project consists of a number of key components: 1. Vulnerability of aquaculture related livelihoods to climate change was assessed at the global scale based on the concept of vulnerability to climate related impacts as a function of sensitivity to climate change, exposure to climate change, and adaptive capacity. Use was made of national level statistics along with gridded climate and population data. Climate change scenarios were supplied using the MAGICC/SCENGEN climate modelling tools. Analysis was conducted for aquaculture in freshwater, brackish, and marine environments with outputs represented as a series of raster images. A number of Asian countries (Vietnam, Bangladesh, Laos, and China) were indicated as most vulnerable to impacts on freshwater production. Vietnam, Thailand, Egypt and Ecuador stood out in terms of brackish water production. Norway and Chile were considered most vulnerable to impacts on Marine production while a…