This paper presents an innovative tool to recognize potential zones for the development of offshore aquaculture activities from an expanded spatial perspective. The methodology — developed in the framework of the TEN-SHORES project (Development of new technologies in oceanic aquaculture RTC-2014-2485-5) — aims to identify optimal conditions for the growth of fish species and for cage resistance. The first step is based on the Delphi method and consists of the selection of variables according to their relevance to fish species and to the cage location. The selected variables were acquired from reanalysis models and remote sensing data (time series of 20–30 years). In the second step, an evaluation system was developed to estimate the percentage of time (on a 0-1 scale) that the selected variables remain in optimum conditions, for the fish and the cage, in the whole data series (grid of 0.25°). Suitability maps were generated according to the conditions for the fish species growth and to house a generic cage. The integration of these maps allows for the identification of potential zones (>0.7) for farming the Greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili), highlighting unexploited offshore zones in South and North America, Oceania and in the Africa continent. The developed tool can be applied to large-scale studies of different aquaculture species, as well as to other types of marine uses.

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