About this Research Topic
Aquaculture, particularly in coastal and marine settings, is the fastest growing food production sector in the world. It will nonetheless face continued and heightened pressure for growth as the global population increases; this under the challenge of changing and uncertain environmental and climate conditions. In order to expand current production practices, new sites characterized by appropriate conditions for cultivation need to be identified. Likewise, in order to sustainably optimize production under changing conditions, the cultivation of new species at existing sites and new aquaculture practices may also need to be increasingly considered, taking environmental conditions into account.
Cultivated species are generally sensitive to water temperature and to water quality in terms of suspended particulate organic and inorganic matter. These parameters are inherently highly variable over space and time, adding to the complexity of site selection and optimization. The capacity of remote sensing to reliably map these parameters, providing spatially-explicit time-series of water quality indicators, has been demonstrated and offers a unique way to quantitatively incorporate such spatio-temporal nuance into modeling, planning, and decision-making. The recent acceleration in sensor and algorithm advances in coastal and nearshore marine environments adds to the potential of remote sensing data and tools in support of sustainable aquaculture.
Related progress from topical international projects on aquaculture applications of remote sensing, and from members of the research community at large, suggest the timeliness of compiling this research topic. Papers are expected to assess and use advanced remote sensing products of a variety of spatial and temporal scales and resolutions, to be coupled with various biological, ecological, and hydrodynamic models, and to be applied to a variety of aquaculture contexts, in terms of farmed species and location. While documenting technical innovation in this regard, these papers will also provide insight and support to management and policy spheres related to coastal zones and food security.
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