Balancing Aquaculture and Marine Protected Areas for Food Security

By iliad - Digital Twin of the Ocean





– Organiser: iliad – Digital Twin of the Ocean
– Language: English
– Virtual or in-person: Hybrid

In Iliad Digital Twins of The Ocean, we are offering an open hackathon in conjunction with and integrated into the Iliad Summer School on Digital Twins of the Ocean.

The overall theme of this hackathon is Balancing Aquaculture and Marine Protected Areas for Food Security.

The detailed challenges are listed below.

This hackathon offers training, mentorship by world leading experts across multiple disciplines, and a vibrant leading international community of ocean enthusiasts. 

The joining deadline is short – registration by 3rd September for start 4th – 9th September 2023. All the same, we hope all students at masters, PhD, post-doc and experts consider joining this hybrid model of a hackathon. Iliad aims to facilitate the continuation of the team work in the hackathon in follow-up hacks, starting with the CASSINI hackathon for Europeans. 

Join us! Sign up and share this information with your community! 


Challenges: For the Iliad hackathon, we have defined 6 challenges that we would like you to address:

  1. Impact on Local Economies: Well-managed aquaculture operations within or near MPAs can create jobs and stimulate local economies, particularly in rural coastal communities. This can lead to increased economic stability and improved living conditions for these communities.
  2. Reduced Pressure on Wild Stocks: By providing an alternative source of seafood, aquaculture can help alleviate the overexploitation of wild fish stocks, which is a common issue in many marine areas. This contributes to the conservation of marine biodiversity and ecosystem health within MPAs.
  3. Impact of Environmental Degradation: Poorly managed aquaculture practices can lead to water pollution, habitat destruction, and the release of disease and non-native species into the surrounding marine environment. These impacts can undermine the conservation goals of MPAs and harm the overall health of marine ecosystems.
  4. Conflict with Conservation Goals: If aquaculture operations expand within MPAs without proper planning and regulation, they can come into conflict with the conservation objectives of these areas. The presence of aquaculture facilities might lead to habitat degradation and displacement of native species.
  5. Loss of Biodiversity: Depending on the scale and intensity of aquaculture operations, there is a risk of displacing or competing with native species. This could lead to reduced biodiversity within the MPAs, disrupting the balance of the ecosystem.
  6. Disease Transmission: Concentrated fish populations in aquaculture settings can be susceptible to diseases. If disease outbreaks occur, there’s a potential for these diseases to spread to wild populations within or around the MPAs, impacting the health of both cultured and wild species.