The ocean and especially our coastal seas are vital providers of food and nutrition for society. We use models of marine productivity and ecosystems to drive fisheries models investigating different climate and management strategies. Aquaculture or farming of both shellfish and finfish is a huge global industry which will likely have to expand to meet future needs. Our ecosystem models can help to better understand how aquaculture interacts with the changing surrounding environment and how it may be affected by climate and other human-induced changes.


In order to underpin the sustainable and profitable development of the aquaculture industry, there is an urgent need for new aquaculture management tools. Tools that can account for increasing environmental change such as temperature, storminess, wind and wave exposure, harmful algal blooms and other impacts from changes in carbon and nutrient cycling that are affecting the industry.

Such tools can only be derived by coupling physical, ecosystem and aquaculture computer models capable of applying climate change driven impacts to fish farm scales. We are currently developing such a system, by embedding “ShellSim”, an aquaculture practice model, within an ERSEM-FVCOM regional model. When operational this model will enable assessments of capacity and resilience to change.

See our work on Risks and Opportunities for Sustainable Aquaculture for more information.

Further information

Please contact: Yuri Artioli or Ricardo Torres

Related publications

Related links

The FVCOM Model
Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry (SSB)
ShellSIM: modelling shellfish growth
ShellGIS: modelling and mapping shellfish growth

Related projects

Climate change and European aquatic RESources (CERES)
Risks and Opportunities for Sustainable Aquaculture (ROSA)
Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability (TAPAS)


Diatom chlorophyll concentration from the PML modelling group's FVCOM-ERSEM model for 2005 and 2006. Phytoplankton blooms can be seen forming from the end of March until September (the dark green regions) when they dissipate, primarily due to grazing by zooplankton.



We use ERSEM to support fisheries' management; here we provide an example of our work in Bangladesh.

Fisheries are crucial for the people of Bangladesh; they provide about 60% of animal protein and account for 4.4% of GDP. Fisheries are under pressure from over-fishing and climate change.

An ERSEM-based model of the coastal Bay of Bengal for the years 2000-2060 shows how primary production and other variables may be affected by climate change. The data from ERSEM is then used to run models of the potential catch of two key fish species (Bombay Duck and Hilsa shad as shown in the graph), under three potential scenarios of fisheries management. The outputs provide evidence for policy makers and resource managers that fish catches could be maintained under climate change, but only if sustainable management practices are used.

Further information

Please contact: Sevrine Sailley

Related projects

Blue Communitites 
Solstice: Sustainable Oceans, Livelihoods and food Security Through Increased Capacity in Ecosystem research in the Western Indian Ocean 
Climate change and European aquatic RESources (CERES)
ESPA Deltas: ecosystem services for poverty alleviation   

Related publications

  • Fernandes JA, Kay S, Hossain MAR, Ahmed M, Cheung WWL, Lazar AN, Barange M. 2015. Projecting marine fish production and catch potential in Bangladesh in the 21st century under long-term environmental change and management scenarios. ICES J. Mar. Sci. J. Cons. fsv217. DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsv217
Primary production animated gif with colour bar

ERSEM-based model of the Bay of Bengal for the years 2000-2060 shows primary production in the coastal parts of the sea may be affected by climate change.