A Geographical Information System to Plan for Aquaculture: A FAO/ UNEP GRID Study in Costa Rica
Planning for aquaculture development has been hindered by a lack of comprehensive information on the land, water, human and economic resources available at national, subnational, and ecosystem levels of organization. The objective of this study was to assess the capabilities of a Geographical Information System (GIS) and satellite remote sensing to rapidly provide synoptic information to plan for aquaculture development. The study area was the Gulf of Nicoya on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Three kinds of aquaculture development opportunities were evaluated in terms of optimum locations and land and water surface areas available: (1) culture of molluscs in intertidal and subtidal areas as well as suspended culture of molluscs and cage culture of fishes, (2) extensive culture of shrimp and fish in existing solar salt ponds, and (3) semi-intensive shrimp farming along the gulf shoreline outside of mangroves.
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