A proxy for carrying capacity of Mediterranean aquaculture

F. Romero, P. Sanchez-Jerez, G. Martínez, A. Hernandez-Contreras, V. Fernandez-Gonzalez, M. M. Agraso, K. Toledo-Guedes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In developing a holistic and innovative approach to determining the carrying capacity in marine finfish aquaculture, we carried out a modified Delphi exercise in which we asked industry experts to identify the factors influencing the production levels of the activity under different scenarios. We disseminated and discussed three rounds of questionnaires in sectoral roundtables and workshops with experts, culminating in the development of a simple formula that adapts production levels to the physical, ecological, social and economic conditions of the activity on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. We used this formula to approach the carrying capacity of the system. Based on the developed model and its theoretical application, we estimated the carrying capacity for floating cages on the Spanish Mediterranean coast at 117,162 t—about 1.5 times the current granted production level of 79,440 t. We therefore concluded that, subject to the execution of an in-situ validation of the model, the production level of floating nurseries on the Spanish Mediterranean coast could be increased by up to 47.5%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number739119
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquaculture management
  • Carrying capacity
  • Delphi method
  • Fish farming
  • Model
  • Spain


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