Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food sector in the world. As industrial growth continuously outpaces published research and literature, it has become increasingly pertinent to identify indices that help communities identify and quantify the suite of impacts associated with aquaculture’s sectoral expansion. Such indices can contribute to the development of an aquaculture performance indicators list which aims to help guide communities in determining aquaculture’s local utility and future growth. While there is ample literature on its economic and ecological impacts, there has been little consideration of the measurable social implications of aquaculture. For this reason, this study draws from relevant literature and the experiential knowledge of local experts to compile and identify measurable indicators that show aquaculture’s local impact on the triple bottom line performance framework– social, ecological, and economic impacts on communities.

A semi-structured interview process determined the utility of this framework and assessed aquaculture development and impact in three Midcoast Maine communities. Each community depends on working waterfront industries; however, aquaculture acceptance and impact in these communities varies. The ecological and economic impacts of aquaculture are well understood at the state and national levels but are not easily measured at the municipal scale. Aquaculture’s social impacts are difficult to measure but appear to play an important role in limiting aquaculture expansion.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Caitlin Cleaver

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.