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The ecological and economic potential for offshore mariculture in the Caribbean
Thomas, L.R.; Clavelle, T.; Klinger, D.H.; Lester, S.E. (2019). The ecological and economic potential for offshore mariculture in the Caribbean. Nature Sustainability 2(1): 62-70. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0205-y
In: Nature Sustainability. Springer Nature Publishing: England. ISSN 2398-9629; e-ISSN 2398-9629, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine/Coastal

Authors  Top 
  • Thomas, L.R.
  • Clavelle, T.
  • Klinger, D.H.
  • Lester, S.E.

Abstract
    Offshore mariculture could enable increased seafood production and economic development while alleviating pressure on coastal ecosystems and wild fisheries. In the Caribbean, however, an integrated assessment of the ecological and economic potential for mariculture in the region is lacking. We assess site suitability and develop a spatial bioeconomic model to predict yields and profits for offshore cobia (Rachycentron canadum) mariculture across 30 jurisdictions in the Caribbean. We find that (1) approximately 1.4% of the study area may be technically feasible; (2) the model could avoid conflicts with other uses and sensitive habitats and protected areas; and (3) the model could be economically profitable, with the potential to produce almost half the amount of seafood that is currently harvested from wild fisheries globally. Here, we show that potential farm-scale production and profitability vary across and within countries and that accounting for the foreign investment risk associated with a country will impact estimated farm profitability.

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