Aquaculture Integrated Model (AIM)
The Aquaculture Integrated Model (AIM, Tsagaraki et al., 2011), developed at Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), is based on a complex generic biogeochemical model, coupled to a 3-D hydrodynamic model and has been applied to study the effect from aquaculture waste in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea (Tsagaraki et al., 2011; Petihakis et al., 2012). A series of nested models is used to consistently downscale the hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry from the coarser resolution (~few kilometres) model of the wider area to the high resolution model (~few tens of meters) of the fish farm area. The amount of nutrients entering the environment from the fish cages is calculated using a mass balance approach. The model produces maps of near surface currents, Chl-a, dissolved inorganic nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, ammonium, silicate), plankton biomass and production that can be used to calculate different indicators describing the environmental status in the area, proving a tool for the sustainable management of the AAZ. This tool will offer significant assistance and know-how in decision making, giving the ability to objectively look at a series of parameters, make predictions about environmental impacts, designing reliable monitoring protocols and analyse scenarios in order to further good practices in management and development.
Developed by Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR). Model outputs can be accessed through the LifeWatch Portal under Ecological Modelling.