Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Daniel Benetti

Second Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Third Committee Member

Geoff Walton


The offshore marine aquaculture industry has shown slower growth than other regions and sectors of the industry despite ample spatial opportunities. A primary cause for this is the nature and perception of aquaculture investment opportunities which are less attractive relative to alternatives in the tropical regions of the Americas. Two consulting tools were built to facilitate the progression of potential projects beyond the planning stage. An economic model projects capital costs and cash flows based on industry supported fish performance and market assumptions which gives an early indication of the financial viability of a proposal. Remote site selection protocols use GIS software to analyze the availability and quality of potential sites within an area of interest. These tools form the basis of early stage consulting and serve as support or opposition to a proposal before significant time and resources are spent. By creating using models which have been successful in projecting costs and revenue for other companies as well as finding grow out locations which agree with industry progress to date, uncertainty is reduced from investment proposal and they appear to have less risk. An example is modeled for each tool. The economic model finds an offshore farm growing snapper and cobia to be an attractive investment with an IRR of 36% over 10 years. The remote site selection protocols identified 29.9 thousand km2 of suitable ocean of offshore aquaculture of cobia in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Bahamas with the highest ranked sites on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama. Both tools produced results consistent with what is observed in the industry.


Aquaculture; Site Selection; Economic Modeling; Aquaculture Consulting; Feasibility