Land: Water Surface Area Ratio for Aquaculture Ponds
Type of Degreethesis
Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
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Aquaculture farms use more land than the pond water surface area because of the necessity for embankments, canals, roads, storage areas, offices, parking lots, and staging areas. Aquaculture farms with different-sized ponds for culture of several species in 26 countries were evaluated using Google Earth Pro. The estimated water area was subtracted from the estimated total area used solely for aquaculture purposes. Ground-truthing on farms in Alabama revealed no difference in pond water surface area whether measured from the Google Earth Pro images or by hand-held GPS (Wild T1000 Theomat Electronic Total Station). The total area: water surface area was calculated and plotted versus average pond size for each farm. The average ratio for all ponds was 1.48. The ratio tended to decline to about 2.5 ha average pond size; it then stabilized at a ratio of about 1.25:1. The area of ponds worldwide has been estimated at 167,320 km2. Thus, total aquaculture farm area might be around 247,634 km2. Of course, additional land – about 0.21 ha/t of production for ponds that use feeds – is dedicated to the production of plant ingredients for aquaculture feeds.