Spatial planning guidelines for Baltic Sea Region aquaculture

A spatial planning process for fish farming and mussel farming was conducted in the region of Jämtland and in the region of Kalmar. The purpose of processes was to suggest a common road map/manual for localizing sustainable aquaculture farms in the Baltic Sea Region.  The manual was created in a real case scenario where ten fish farming locations were pointed out in the region of Jämtland and twelve favourable blue mussel farming sites were pointed out in the region of Kalmar.

In our work we have used GIS tools to evaluate geographical data necessary for aquaculture business and find suitable areas for aquaculture farms.

We have calculated carrying capacity of fish production in hydropower dams by collecting environmental data from several water samplings.  Furthermore, we have conducted field tests to evaluate mussel settlings in favourable areas pointed out in the GIS investigation.

In order to achieve social acceptance of aquaculture business we have performed consultation processes both in the region of Kalmar and in the region of Jämtland.    

The results from the project show us that a spatial planning process is crucial if one wants to create a sustainable development of aquaculture.  The spatial planning process should take place before the establishment of any aquaculture business. The spatial planning process will lower the threshold for new entrepreneurs, minimize the risk of appeals, make the business more environmentally safe and lower the risk of social conflicts.

The GIS data that we used, the carrying capacity calculations or the stakeholder composition that we invited to our consultation process may not be the best for other regions in the BSR. But the input of data to the GIS can easily be changed and so can also the carrying capacity calculations and the stakeholder composition.   

We strongly suggest that a spatial planning process like ours is carried out in other regions of the BSR that will increase the development of aquaculture in a sustainable way. 

Report: Spatial planning guidelines for Baltic Sea Region aquaculture