The Australian Institute of Marine Science today announced a new automated tool that provides support for sea cage aquaculture managers in making decisions about locating their sites and determining the number of fish that can be sustainably farmed.

A result of an AIMS project in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and funded by the Australian Aid Program through the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research, the Cage Aquaculture Decision Support tool (CADS_TOOL) is available on CD and the Internet.

The tool allows managers to classify a site, select the best site from several alternatives, calculate its sustainable holding density and perform a basic economic appraisal.

According to AIMS researchers David McKinnon, the tool is immediately useful to finfish aquaculture in Southeast Asia, but is also useful in tropical Australia.

"We believe that CADS_TOOL will greatly improve decision making by sea cage aquaculture managers," he says. "In a rapidly expanding industry, this will be a major factor in ensuring both environmental and economic sustainability."

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