Project Details

Carrying capacity is one of the major components of the ecosystem approach to aquaculture. However its definition and evaluation remains a major difficulty. In this project, dimensional analysis has been used to identify the key drivers and issues surrounding carrying capacity. The aim is to arrive to a simple and generally applicable relationship for estimating production levels for finfish mariculture considering thresholds for particulate organic carbon deposition under the farms.
Results of model simulations are combined with in-situ observations of the sediment deterioration under the farms. Within the areas suited for fish farming, particulate organic carbon transport and deposition are simulated for a wide range of conditions. Figure 1 shows preliminary results of this study. There is a good correlation between the ratio of settled and emitted organic carbon (Mb/Ms), the Reynolds number due to the flow (Re) and the dimensionless settling velocity (Ws*). Further investigations are currently underway to extend the applicability of the equation to for a wider range of conditions.
The resulting equation shall be embedded within the DSS SYSMAR for estimation of environmental carrying capacities. Fig. 2 shows resulting production rates for the Pergametan Bay in Indonesia.


Fig.1: Maximum production rates within the suitable sites in the Pergametan Bay, Bali

Fig.2: Maximum production rates within the suitable sites in the Pergametan Bay, Bali

Research division

ECOLAB – Coastal Ecosystems


Prof. Dr. R. Mayerle
Research and Technology Centre Westcoast, University of Kiel (FTZ)
Dr. R. Narayanan


M.Sc. Katharina Niederndorfer (FTZ)
Dr. K-H. Runte (FTZ)


January 2014 onwards