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Aquaculture Site Prospecting: Developing Remote Sensing Capabilities for the Aquaculture Community of Maine


Funded by: Maine Sea Grant
Principal Investigator: Damian Brady, Emmanuel Boss
Co-Principal Investigators:

Andrew Thomas


In order to prospect for new sites, aquaculturists have largely relied on trial and error, an inefficient and risky approach. We propose to develop and provide aquaculture site prospectors a new tool to vet and compare sites to existing successful sites based on remote sensing technology. Remote sensing has long been used to inform sustainable fishery harvest strategies and water quality dynamics in coastal systems. However, two issues remain outstanding in the application of satellite ocean color to aquaculture: (1) the spatial resolution of the satellite data optimized for accurate retrieval of aquatic ocean color information is not fine enough to resolve the types of embayments wherein most aquaculture occurs (i.e., less than 1 km wide) and (2) is the issue of adjacency (i.e., contamination of target pixels by radiation emanating from bright adjacent land pixels). Similarly, accurate sea surface temperature measurements from satellite remote sensing instruments are not available at sufficient spatial resolution for most aquaculture use. New capabilities associated with the new satellite platforms (Landsat 8, Sentinel) allow us to propose to work around these issues. The high resolution possible from this platform (30-120 m) and the latest updates to the products that can be derived from these platforms (i.e., temperature, turbidity, chlorophyll, and colored dissolved organic material (CDOM), combined with approaches we have previously published, will provide new insights into the aquaculture site-selection process.