Geographical Expansion

Geographical expansion of monocultures is still possible in some areas of the world, but for how long? In other areas, site access and availability are already limited and public resistance is growing against further expansion of the current aquaculture model. Moving from sheltered nearshore sites to exposed nearshore sites and offshore sites is being contemplated, but technical and economic challenges remain, especially in regions where the coastal zone is already highly used by many stakeholders with different and competing needs. Real offshore development, proposed by some as the next frontier for development in aquaculture, is not necessarily the appropriate solution for all regions. Moreover, present designs for offshore farms are almost entirely for the development of fed monoculture of 'high-valued' fish and rarely consider the association with extractive aquaculture operations and their specific requirements. For example, seaweed aquaculture needs infrastructures near the surface to capture solar energy needed for photosynthesis and, consequently, nutrients available near the surface (i.e., if the fed aquaculture infrastructure is submerged, then upwelling water circulation is needed to bring the nutrients near the surface). It is, therefore, obvious that, sooner or later, the scope for geographic expansion will be limited for the existing monoculture technologies and practices.

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