Ecosystem service ‘offsets’ and aquaculture: determining equivalence and acceptability of environmental and social impacts and benefits

Project Status: 

The concept of offsets, though well developed and applied in terrestrial resource-based and energy sectors, has not been tested in marine-based aquaculture. This project examines the applicability of offsets as an instrument to achieve optimal social, economic and environmental returns from marine ecosystem services from marine-based aquaculture activity. Using a case study of Integrated Multi Tropic Aquaculture in Tasmania, this project will develop and test ecological, economic as well as social criteria for determining the equivalence and acceptability of impacts and benefits generated by proposed offsets. It will compare the outcomes of combinations of public policy settings and proposed offset strategies in order to inform both marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management processes, and models of sustainable and socially-supported aquaculture production.

Emily Ogier, UTAS (
Catriona Macleod, UTAS
Dugald Tinch, UTAS
Karen Alexander, UTAS

Essential skills/experience:
An honours degree in a related area of study
Demonstrated skills in quantitative research methods
Excellent written, oral and stakeholder engagement skills

Desirable skills/experience:
Skills in designing choice experiments and using other non-monetary valuation methods
Knowledge of marine resource policy and management; ecosystem services assessment, aquaculture industries

University of TasmaniaInstitute of Marine and Antarctic StudiesCSIRO Department of the EnvironmentGEOS
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