IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Integrating science into management: Ecological carrying capacity of bivalve shellfish aquaculture


  • Byron, Carrie
  • Bengtson, David
  • Costa-Pierce, Barry
  • Calanni, John


Ecosystem-based management (EBM), despite the best efforts of managers, researchers, and policy makers, often falls short of its intended purpose resulting in inadequate protection of resources. Coastal habitats are particularly vulnerable to poor management due to high use and potential for user conflict. EBM can be improved when it is informed by ecological science and considers the socio-economic needs of the community. Communication between scientists and stakeholders can help to prevent adverse outcomes while enhancing protection and sustainability of the coastal environment. In the research presented here, a framework is used to guide and enhance communication between scientists and stakeholders for sustainable management of resources and equity of all users. The outcome of this applied framework is a long-term plan to guide the management of an oyster aquaculture industry using carrying capacity as an estimate for the basis of management decisions. Central to the framework is the Working Group on Aquaculture Regulations (WGAR), which represents a diverse group of stakeholders. The WGAR worked closely with ecological modelers over a two-year period using mass-balance modeling to calculate ecological carrying capacity for oyster aquaculture in two ecosystems: Narragansett Bay and a set of highly flushed temperate lagoons in Rhode Island, USA. Collaboration between scientists and the WGAR greatly improved the models and stakeholder understanding of the science and acceptance of the results. Aquaculture is increasing in coastal regions world-wide and this framework should be easily transferable to other areas suffering from similar user conflict issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Byron, Carrie & Bengtson, David & Costa-Pierce, Barry & Calanni, John, 2011. "Integrating science into management: Ecological carrying capacity of bivalve shellfish aquaculture," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 363-370, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:35:y:2011:i:3:p:363-370

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ofir, E. & Gal, G. & Goren, M. & Shapiro, J. & Spanier, E., 2016. "Detecting changes to the functioning of a lake ecosystem following a regime shift based on static food-web models," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 320(C), pages 145-157.
    2. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:10:p:1743-1755 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kluger, Lotta C. & Taylor, Marc H. & Mendo, Jaime & Tam, Jorge & Wolff, Matthias, 2016. "Carrying capacity simulations as a tool for ecosystem-based management of a scallop aquaculture system," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 331(C), pages 44-55.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:35:y:2011:i:3:p:363-370. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.