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New report: Identifying the most suitable areas for mussel farms in the swedish Kalmar County

Work Package 4 in the Aquabest project develops a spatial planning manual, which is used in two Swedish cases in order to evaluate the usefulness of the manual. One identified important action in the spatial planning manual is the performance of a GIS-analysis in order to identify suitable localities for aquaculture farms.

Based upon a previous pilot study which explored the resolution and availability of geographical data, the coastal zone of Kalmar region was divided into smaller units according to the subdivision into water bodies by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). Thereafter a model was constructed to identify and rank the water bodies in relation to how suitable each water body is for mussel farming. Firstly, all areas with a depth between 10-20 meters were included since these depths are considered to be suitable for mussel farms. Secondly, based on the availability of data and their recognized importance to affect the presence and growth of mussels, four parameters were chosen. These parameters were 1) salinity, 2) oxygen concentration, 3) chlorophyll concentration and 4) water exchange time. Each parameter was modeled so that it had a relevant overall influence with respect to suitability for mussel farms. Depending on these parameters, each water body got a value equal to the product of all four parameter values. This value was used to classify a specific area into one of five categories ranging from unsuitable to very suitable.

As a second step, opposing interests was excluded from the suitable water bodies. This part of the study showed that it is important to clarify which other interest that really is in opposition to mussel farms. The opposing interests were set after discussions within the working group and the officials from municipalities and the County Board of Kalmar. The remaining areas within the water bodies after opposing interest were excluded are shown in a map.

The aim of this report was to identify the most suitable areas for mussel farms and identify possible administrative and physical obstacles for establishing them at certain localities in specific areas. Our hope is that the report will serve as a basis for further discussions and investigations for authorities, municipalities and companies interested in starting mussel farms in the Kalmar County.


GIS-analys av lämpliga lokaler för musselodlingar längs Kalmar läns kust (in Swedish)

published 16.11.2012