The Centre has been involved in a program on aquaculture management and development in Indonesia since 1998. Building on past research on remediating abandoned shrimp ponds in Indonesia, current research has focussed more on developing aquaculture planning tools to enable the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in Indonesia to strategically develop aquaculture with minimal environmental impacts. The core goal is to enable small holders to develop farms without repeating past mistakes and to protect sensitive coastal environments from degradation. The project, funded by ACIAR, has produced a land capability assessment scheme for pond- and cage-based aquaculture, land classification maps and mapping models, and site selection criteria that consider production, environmental, social and economic factors.

Aquaculture development research was also undertaken in the coastal lowlands of Morobe Province in PNG as part of a larger ACIAR project on providing food and income security for rural communities. The PNG based ACIAR project also has inland aquaculture research sites in the Highlands of PNG and in the impact corridor of the OkTedi mine on the Fly River in Western Province. The research is solving fish production problems to meet protein needs in impoverished communities. The ACIAR team disseminated its research through its ‘Fish for Prisons’ and ‘Fish for Schools’ schemes, technical workshops, farmer workshops and on farm action research.

The carrying capacity of coastal and volcanic lakes for cage-based aquaculture was also investigated under another ACIAR project. The project has been developing carrying capacity models and software to enable environmental decision makers to more effectively manage cage-based aquaculture and minimise the risk of fish kills and degradation of lake water quality.

Newsletter: Aquaculture Research @ UNSW Spring 2014