Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Aquaculture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Using physical environmental parameters and cage engineering design within GIS-based site suitability models for marine aquaculture
Authors: Falconer, Lynne
Hunter, Donna-Claire
Scott, Philip C
Telfer, Trevor
Ross, Lindsay
Contact Email:
Keywords: GIS modelling
Spatial planning
Site suitability
Marine cages
Issue Date: Oct-2013
Publisher: Inter-Research
Citation: Falconer L, Hunter D, Scott PC, Telfer T & Ross L (2013) Using physical environmental parameters and cage engineering design within GIS-based site suitability models for marine aquaculture, Aquaculture Environment Interactions, 4 (3), pp. 223-237.
Abstract: Defining the physical suitability of an area for marine cage fish farming is of great importance, as each cage type has its own engineering tolerance levels and is designed to cope with a certain range of environmental conditions. Currently, there are no definitive, objective methods used to evaluate the suitability of coastal and offshore sites with respect to the physical limits of the location and the engineering design of a specific cage type. This study developed models which incorporate physical environmental parameters and cage engineering design within a GIS (graphical information system) environment, providing a valuable decision support tool for farmers, regulators and policy makers. The Western Isles of Scotland, UK, were selected as a study area due to the wide range of coastal and offshore environments. In addition, we selected 4 cage types designed for different wave exposure conditions (sheltered, moderately exposed, exposed and offshore). The models have been developed for worst-case scenarios, such as maximum significant wave height, conditions which are often difficult to predict. As shown in this study, the models can be used to assess the risk of using the selected cage type in a certain area and to highlight specific locations for development. The results indicate there is scope for further expansion of the aquaculture industry in the Western Isles using cages designed for exposed and offshore conditions, whereas there is limited potential for new developments using cages designed for moderately exposed environments. This allows stakeholders to make a robust decision about what cage type to use and where to locate it.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: © The authors 2013. Open Access under Creative Commons by Attribution Licence. Use, distribution and reproduction are unrestricted. Authors and original publication must be credited.
Affiliation: Aquaculture
University of Stirling
University of Stirling

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Falconer etal AEI 2013.pdf2.25 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.