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Project: Aquaculture Sustainability Index Development to Support Decision making in water management in the Mekong delta (AquaSID)

01/06/07 – 31/05/09

The purpose of this research was to develop a user-friendly web-based tool to offer support for the evaluation of development and sustainability of aquacultures, taking into account the local culture, financial resources, and expertise. These issues are known to often form a bottleneck in development projects. Evaluation of development consists of both environmental as well as socio-economical issues. In this study we focus on the environmental aspects of aquaculture development. To achieve this objective, locally available datasets were used to construct a water quality model of the study area. This local information was provided by local governmental agencies. A training program was organized, in order to allow local civil servants and students to acquire experience in environmental modeling, webapplications, remotesensing, and related environmental concepts. An important issue in this program was optimizing the use of existing local development programs and the collaboration among the different interest groups involved. Therefore, it was decided to work towards a result that can be implemented within the locally available system for evaluating agricultural areas. This specific type of evaluation system makes use of an index which is calculated by combining evaluation results about the environment but also about socio-economic aspects. The results of the decision support tool about the sustainability of aquacultures can be used as the environmental input information to be used in the calculation of a locally developed general evaluationindex.