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Managing offshore multi-use settings: Use of conceptual mapping to reduce uncertainty of co-locating seaweed aquaculture and wind farms.

O'Shea, R., Capuzzo, E., Hemming, V., Grebe, G., Stafford, R., van den Burg, S. W. K., Wood, D., Watson, G., Wells, V., Johnson, T., Erbs, S., W. van Hal, J., Binnerts, B., Collins, A. M. and Howe, C., 2024. Managing offshore multi-use settings: Use of conceptual mapping to reduce uncertainty of co-locating seaweed aquaculture and wind farms. Journal of Environmental Management, 358, 120696.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2024.120696


The offshore Multi-use Setting (MUS) is a concept that aims to co-locate marine industrial activities, including wind farms and aquaculture. MUS is considered an innovative approach to promoting efficiency in space and resource use whilst contributing global policy priorities. However, the impacts of MUS development across social, economic, and environmental domains are uncertain, hindering the commercialisation of the concept. In this study, we initially demonstrate the potential consequences of co-locating seaweed aquaculture and a wind farm as a step towards MUS. Using a hypothetical case study and modified Delphi methodology, 14 subject matter experts predicted potential outcomes across social and environmental objectives. Five Cognitive maps and impact tables of 58 potential consequences were generated based on experts' perspective on co-locating seaweed aquaculture and a wind farm. The findings highlight the potential to exasperate pressures in the area, including those already attributed to wind farm operations, such as species mortality and stakeholder conflict. However, it may also enhance social-ecological conditions, such as resource provisioning and promoting habitat functionality in the region, through the addition of seaweed aquaculture. The cognitive maps demonstrate the complexity of managing MUS implementation, where high degree of variability and uncertainty about the outcomes is present. The findings of this study provide the vital entry point to performing further integrative assessment and modelling approaches, such as probabilistic analysis and simulations, in support of MUS decision-making. The research also strongly recommends alternative strategies in the pursuit of combining seaweed production and wind farms to avoid significant financial (among many other) trade-offs and risks. More broadly, we have found that our approach's ability to visually represent a complex situation while considering multiple objectives could be immensely valuable for other bioeconomy innovations or nature-based solutions. It helps mitigate the potential for expensive investments without a comprehensive evaluation of the associated risks and negative impacts, as necessitated by the principles of sustainability in decision-making.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cognitive mapping; Delphi; Impact assessment; Multi-use setting; Seaweed aquaculture; Wind farms
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:39755
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:29 Apr 2024 14:49
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 14:49


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