As the demand for products from aquaculture is constantly increasing and thus the supply of operation space in coastal areas is limited, there are worldwide efforts to move aquaculture more into the open ocean. Central expectations for this offshore transformation is that the breeding of aquatic organisms should take place in marine areas where more space is available, stakeholders conflicts are less and better water qualities exist. As a result, new aquaculture production areas have been identified that either lie further out in the open ocean or, on the other hand, areas that are not far from the mainland but are subject to harsh weather conditions. This leads to a field of research commonly referred to as Open Ocean Aquaculture, Offshore Aquaculture or Exposed Aquaculture.
The central focus of this working group is placed on questions related to open ocean aquaculture operations. Thereby, the role of potential environmental influences (marine flora and fauna, ecosystems and habitats), the technical challenges and specific system design requirements, the concepts of marine multi-use and site selection as well as economic aspects, all of which relate to the specific nature of high (offshore) energy environments of open ocean aquaculture are addressed.
WGOOA will work out concepts for site-specific solutions that will enable the sustainable development of offshore aquacultures vis à vis addressing the various dimensions of sustainable marine food production, food security and food safety. To this end, the goal of WGOOA is to form an inter- and transdisciplinary group of biologists, engineers, economists, spatial planers, managers, people from the industry, administrations and NGOs together, to develop a roadmap for the future of aquaculture at open ocean locations.