Socioeconomic Appraisal of an Early Prevention System against Toxic Conditions in Mussel Aquaculture

Animals (Basel). 2022 Oct 19;12(20):2832. doi: 10.3390/ani12202832.


This paper examines the financial viability and potential socioeconomic effects of introducing and operating an automated, remote-controlled management system for mussel farms which uses probes of temperature, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity associated with prediction software to demonstrate the potential need for mussel movement between marine areas. This system provides an early warning to farmers regarding the presence of toxins in aquatic ecosystems, thus contributing to saving mussel production and avoidikng significant economic losses. The analysis combines two established methodological tools in agricultural economics (linear programming and cost-benefit analysis) and provides estimates of the Net Present Value of the investment under two scenarios-one reflecting the existing situation and one a possible future situation where the mussel production system is expanded. The results of the analysis reveal the mid- and long-term effects of using the automated system, both of which demonstrate that the system is economically viable even if it contributes to saving mussel production from toxicity occurrence for only one year during its period of operation. The annual gross margin in the first scenario was €386,069 but almost tripled in the second scenario (€1,154,649). In addition, the future development and expansion of the mussel sector will likely be based on larger farms with an entrepreneurial and exporting orientation where risk mitigation systems, such as the one appraised in this paper, can play an important role.

Keywords: cost–benefit analysis; linear programming; risk management.