A dynamic ecological-economic modeling approach for aquaculture management

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This paper presents a Modeling Approach to Resource economics decision-making in EcoaquaculTure (MARKET model). The MARKET model was developed as a scenario-testing tool to provide insights on the ecological and economic interactions, which is a critical issue for sustainable aquaculture management. As a case study, the model was applied to simulate shellfish production in an embayment located in the East China Sea. A set of scenarios was used to compare the model outputs with expected trends and to test its capability to simulate relevant management scenarios. The comparison of simulated scenarios indicates that the MARKET model outputs followed the expected trends regarding both standard economic theory for consumption and production, and ecological economic theory. In all the scenarios we tested the area available for aquaculture was found to impose a limitation on production before it became less profitable to expand production. As such, in this case study, the production in the long run does not meet increasing demand. Reduction of the maximum cultivation area was simulated in one of the scenarios as an example of a conservation measure. As expected there was a reduction of the net profit of the farmers compared with the standard simulation. On the other hand, this scenario combined with an increase in price growth rate simulates a compensatory measure that led to a net profit in the same range as observed in the standard simulation. Overall the MARKET model provides insights and raises questions useful for the implementation of an ecosystem approach to aquaculture. Further developments include the simulation of waste generated by cultivated species in order to better support sustainable management objectives. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)3007-3017
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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