Geographic Information System (GIS) Based Analysis of Sustainable Domestic Aquaculture Development in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin aquaculture industry has
experienced many startups and almost as many failures. Proper selection of species, location and
culture practices can greatly improve the success rate of new aquaculture ventures. GIS-based decision support models can
facilitate the prioritizing of state research, development, and extension
strategies and targeting of development assistance for aquaculture because they
can provide information to stakeholders as to where and under what conditions
certain aquaculture technologies would be feasible.
Factors that determine the adoption of
aquaculture technologies by farmers include agro-ecological (rainfall,
temperature, soil type, and slope), socio-economic (land, labor, capital, and
infrastructure), and institutional characteristics (extension services, applied
research, and producer’s organizations).
The advantages of using a GIS as part of the decision-making process
are: 1) GIS provides the capability to integrate, scale, organize and
manipulate spatial data from many different sources, 2) data can be maintained,
updated, extracted and mapped efficiently, and 3) GIS permits quick and
repeated testing of models which could be used to aid the decision-making
The overall goal for this
project is to determine if location characteristics of aquaculture operations
are significant for determining success or failure of commercialized operations
in Wisconsin. This includes developing a
predictive aquaculture farm model using a multi-criteria evaluation procedure
in GIS software and parameters (layers) such as, site suitability, water
source, water quality, land ownership, and infrastructure to determine optimal
sites for aquaculture ventures that are environmentally sustainable.
The Suitability Models
Two suitability models have been uploaded to an online database that is publically accessible. Users can select individual model parameters or combine factors that they deem relevant and observe whether the location they are interested in is identified as suitable for an aquaculture facility. Of course the model should be used as a guide and not a definitive factor since aquaculturalists can always modify the land and water to best meet their needs.
Thank you to UW-Stevens Point student, staff and faculty - Christine Koeller, Keith Rice, Allen Brandt, and Chris Hartleb for the development of this project and aquaculture models.