About the ROSA Project

ROSA is a new project which intends to develop the UK capability to project the risks and opportunities for sustainable aquaculture in a changing environment.
Focusing on the UK's major shellfish aquaculture regions, ROSA’s aim is to create the first system in the UK that considers the full range of factors that affect the benefits and impacts of sustainable aquaculture. The system will be delivered through a bespoke desktop-based GIS tool developed for key stakeholders in the aquaculture community including growers and regulators.
Aquaculture is the science, art, and business of cultivating marine or freshwater food fish or shellfish, such as oysters, clams, salmon, and trout, under controlled conditions. Aquaculture includes the propagation, rearing, enhancement, and harvest of aquatic organisms in marine, estuarine, brackish, or fresh water.

Given the strong likelihood that seafood landings from capture fisheries will remain constant in the future, aquaculture is needed to expand world supplies of animal protein. Aquaculture of bivalve shellfish (i.e. mussels, oysters, cockles, clams, scallops) is among the fastest-growing of all food-producing sectors, making a direct contribution of more than £500 million to the UK economy, and is projected to grow significantly in the coming decade. The Scottish shellfish sector alone is seeking to double the production of mussels to 13000 tonnes by 2020.
Ensuring this growth occurs in an environmentally sustainable and profitable way requires increased knowledge of the wide range of factors that affect the industry. ROSA will help to develop understanding of the interplay between habitat suitability, changing environmental factors and culture practice, visualising the results through a GIS platform to support the ongoing development of shellfish aquaculture sector across the UK.

ROSA is a two year project (2015-2017) funded by NERC and BBSRC coordinated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory.