A system dynamics model for analysing the eco-aquaculture system of integrated aquaculture park in Malaysia with policy recommendations

  • Siti Hanani Isa
  • Mohd Noor Afiq Ramlee
  • Muhamad Safiih LolaEmail author
  • Mhd Ikhwanuddin
  • Mohamad N Azra
  • Mohd Tajuddin Abdullah
  • Syerrina Zakaria
  • Yahaya Ibrahim


The sustainability of aquaculture industry strongly depends on numerous factors such as environment, ecology, economics, industry, human behaviour, policy and many others. The interdependence and balance of these factors is called as eco-aquaculture. However, eco-aquaculture field has not been widely studied, especially in Malaysia. Therefore, to enhance the sustainable development capacity of an eco-aquaculture system, the integrated simulation and analysis of the material-energy flow processes and the trends of process generating the ecological and economic positive–negative effects should be addressed. Thus, the objectives of this study are firstly to develop a system dynamics model of the eco-aquaculture system named ‘SD-AQEP’ to simulate quantitatively flow in the local iSHARP aquaculture industry; secondly, to analyse the integrated effects of the ecological economy, identify the defects and finally to make recommendations to improve the system performance. We build a system dynamics model of a Malaysian eco-aquaculture system (SD-AQEP) to quantify its integrated material and energy flows, identify systemic defects and recommend improvements in its performance. The systems is also able to scientifically diagnose the potential shortcomings and defects in the system, provide the basic improvement policies as well as check the effectiveness of the improvement policies. Hence, this system has the potential to reveal the internal structures in the complex system with ecosystem and other systems such as economy, environment and human activity.


System dynamics Eco-aquaculture Ecological modelling Policy recommendations 



This study was supported by a Niche Research Grant Scheme for Setiu Wetlands Development P1(R) (Second Phase) Vote No.: 53131/30, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. I thank the Terengganu Economic Development Unit, the Yayasan Diraja Sultan Mizan, the Setiu District Welfare and Safety Committee and Setiu residents for their insights during interviews and questionnaire sessions.


  1. Abu Nasar, A., Bronwyn, M., Natasha, S., Kerstin, K. Z., & Stephen, T. G. (2017). The impact of the expansion of shrimp aquaculture on livelihoods in coastal Bangladesh. Environment, Development and Sustainability,19(5), 2093–2144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allsopp, M., Johnston, P., & Santillo, D. (2008). Challenging the aquaculture industry on sustainability (2nd ed.). Dordrecht: Greenpeace Int.Google Scholar
  3. Arquitt, S., Honggang, X., & Jhonstone, A. R. (2005). A system dynamics analysis of booming and burst in the shrimp aquaculture industries. System Dynamic Review,21(4), 305–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Azman, N. K., Nurarina A. G., Nurul F. C. H., & Nakisah M. A. (2015). Isolation of dominant microalgae species from preparation pond for the culture of Litopenaeus vannamei (white shrimp) in Setiu, Terengganu. Setiu wetlands species, ecosystems and livelihood, Penerbit UMT, pp. 39–50.Google Scholar
  5. Badjeck, M. C., Allison, E. H., Halls, A. S., & Dulvy, N. K. (2010). Impacts of climate variability and change on fishery-based livelihoods. Marine Policy,34(3), 375–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bailey-Brock, J. H., & Moss, S. M. (1992). Penaeid taxonomy, biology and zoogeography. In Marine shrimp culture: Principles and practices. Elsevier science publishers: Amsterdam, 27 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Barlas, Y. (1996). Formal aspect of model validity and validation in system dynamics. System Dynamics Review,12(3), 183–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bernama. (2014). PPNT labur lebih RM1 juta untuk tanaman kelapa sawit di Setiu. Berita Harian. Retrieved from
  9. Binh, T. N. K., Nico, V., Nguyen, T. H., Luc, H., & Boon, E. K. (2005). Land cover changes between 1968 and 2003 in Cai Nuoc, Ca Mau Peninsula, Vietnam. Environment, Development and Sustainability,7(4), 519–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Boyd, C. E., & Clay, J. W. (1998). Shrimp aquaculture and the environment. Scientific American,278, 58–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burford, M. A., & Lorenzen, K. (2004). Modeling nitrogen dynamics in intensive shrimp ponds: The role of sediment demineralization. Aquaculture,229, 129–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carmichael, M. (2017). Why do people move? Here are the top reasons for relocation. Retrieved from:
  13. CCICU. (2015). Setiu breakdown maps, Setiu, Terengganu, Malaysia. Retrieved from
  14. Chang, Y., Hong, F., & Lee, M. (2008). A system dynamic based DSS for sustainable coral reef management in Kenting Coastal Zone, Taiwan. Ecological Modelling,211(1–2), 153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chateau, P.-A., & Chang, Y.-C. (2010). A system dynamics model for marine cage aquaculture. In Proceeding on the 28th international conference of the system dynamics society, Seoul, South Korea, p. 38.Google Scholar
  16. Chopin, T., Robinson, S., Page, F., Ridler, N., Sawhney, M., Szemerda, M., et al. (2007). Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture making headway in Canada. The Canadian Aquaculture Research and Development Review,28, 99–110.Google Scholar
  17. Chou, C. L., Haya, K., Paon, L. A., & Moffatt, J. D. (2004). A regression model using sediment chemistry for the evaluation of marine environmental impacts associated with salmon aquaculture cage wastes. Marine Pollution Bulletin,49(5–6), 465–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Zetterström, T., Rönnbäck, P., Troell, M., Wickramasinghe, A., & Koedam, N. (2002). Recent changes in land-use in the Pambala-Chilaw Lagoon Complex (Sri Lanka) investigated using remote sensing and GIS: Conservation of mangroves vs development of shrimp farming. Environment, Development and Sustainability,4(2), 185–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Department, N. A. (2012). Auditor general report. Malaysia: National Audit Department.Google Scholar
  20. Dey, M. M., Kumar, P., Chen, O. L., Khan, M. A., Barik, N. K., Li, L., et al. (2013). Potential impact of genetically improved carp strains in Asia. Food Policy,43, 306–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diana, J. S. (2009). Aquaculture production and biodiversity conservation. BioScience,59(1), 27–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dipsikha, D., Anupam, D., Tumpa, H., Bala, B. K., Amitava, G., & Debasish, C. (2017). Scenario of future e-waste generation and recycle-reuse-landfill-based disposal pattern in India: A system dynamics approach. Environment, Development and Sustainability,19(4), 1473–1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. FAO, (2006). Cultured aquatic species information programme. Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Rome. Updated 7 April 2006 [Cited 21 March 2014].
  24. Forrester, J. (1958). Industrial dynamics: A major breakthrough for decision makers. Harvard Business Review,36(4), 37–66.Google Scholar
  25. Galappaththi, E. K., & Berkes, F. (2015). Drama of the commons in small-scale shrimp aquaculture in Northwestern, Sri Lanka. International Journal of the Commons,9(1), 347–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gjedrem, T., Robinson, N., & Rye, M. (2012). The importance of selective breeding in aquaculture to meet future demands for animal protein: A review. Aquaculture,350–353(June), 117–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gomez-Limon, J. A., Picazo-Tadeo, A. J., & Reig-Martinez, E. (2012). Eco-efficiency assessment of olive farms in Andalusia. Land Use Policy,29(2), 395–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gräslund, S., & Bengtsson, B.-E. (2001). Chemicals and biological products used in south-east Asian shrimp farming, and their potential impact on the environment—A review. The Science of the Total Environment,280, 93–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hassanien, H. A., Ebtehag, A. K., Salem, M. A., & Dorgham, A. S. (2011). Multivariate analysis of morphometric parameters in wild and cultured Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Journal of the Arabian Aquaculture Society,6(2), 205–237.Google Scholar
  30. Hirsch, G. B., Levine, R., & Miller, R. L. (2007). Using system dynamics modeling to understand the impact of social change initiatives. American Journal of Community Psychology,39(3–4), 239–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huang, W. Y., Wang, J. K., & Fujimura, T. (1976). A model for estimating prawn populations in ponds. Aquaculture, 8, 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Integrated Shrimp Aquaculture Park Proposed. (2009). Proposed infrastructure development for an Integrated Shrimp Aquaculture Park (iSHARP), Setiu, Terengganu Darul Iman. Accessed from
  33. Jiang, Z., Fang, J., et al. (2009). Eutrophication assessment and bioremediation strategy in a marine fish cage culture area in Nansha Bay, China. Journal of Applied Phycology,22(4), 421–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jimenez-Montealegre, R., Verdegem, M. C. J., Van Dam, A., & Verreth, J. A. J. (2002). Conceptualization and validation of a dynamics model for the simulation of nitrogen transformations and fluxes in fish ponds. Ecological Modelling,147, 123–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kannan, D., Thirunavukkarasu, P., Jagadeesan, K., Sheetu, N., & Kumar, A. (2015). Procedure for maturation and spawning of imported shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei in commercial hatchery, South East Coast of India. Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal,6(4), 1–5.Google Scholar
  36. Leung, P., & Shang, Y. C. (1989). Modeling prawn production management system: A dynamics Markov decision approach. Agricultural Systems,29(1), 5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Li, F. J., Dong, S. C., & Li, F. (2012). A system dynamics model for analyzing the eco-agriculture system with policy recommendations. Ecological Modeling,227, 34–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ljungqvist, M. G., Ersbøll, B. K. & Frosch, S. (2012). Multivariate image analysis for quality inspection in fish feed production. Technical University of Denmark (IMM-PHD-2012; No. 273).Google Scholar
  39. Lola, M. S., Isa, S. H., Ramlee, M. N. A., & Ikhwanuddin, M. (2017). Sustainability of Integrated Aquaculture Development Project using System Dynamic Approach. Journal of Sustainability Science and Management, 12(2), 194–203.Google Scholar
  40. Lopes, P. F. M. (2008). Extracted and farmed shrimp fisheries in Brazil: Economic, environmental and social consequences of exploitation. Environment, Development and Sustainability,10, 639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Marale, S. M. (2012). Shifting role of ecology in solving global environmental problems: Selected practical tools. Environment, Development and Sustainability,14(6), 869–884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Marale, S. M. (2013). Strategies for coastal ecosystem management in India. Environment, Development and Sustainability,15(1), 23–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McCausland, W. D., Mente, E., Pierce, G. J., & Theodossiou, I. (2006). A simulation model of sustainability of coastal communities: Aquaculture, fishing, environment and labour markets. Ecological Modelling,193(3–4), 271–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mizanuar, M., Giedraitis, R., Lieberman, V. R., Tahmina, A., & Taminskienė, V. (2013). Shrimp cultivation with water salinity in Bangladesh: The implications of an ecological model. Universal Journal of Public Health,1(3), 131–142.Google Scholar
  45. Montoya, R. A., Lawrence, A. L., Grant, W. E., & Velasco, M. (2000). Simulation of phosphorus dynamics in an intensive shrimp culture system: Effects of feed formulations and feeding strategies. Ecological Modelling,129, 131–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Morita, S. K. (1977). An econometric model of prawn pond production. Proceedings of the World Mariculture Society,8, 741–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Naila, N., & Salman, A. (2018). Forest land conversion dynamics: A case of Pakistan. Environment, Development and Sustainability,20(1), 389–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Newell, R. I. E. (2004). Ecosystem influences of natural and cultivated populations of suspension-feeding bivalve molluscs: A review. Journal of Shellfish Research,23(1), 51–61.Google Scholar
  49. Patil, A. A., Annachhatre, A. P., & Tripathi, N. K. (2002). Comparison of conventional and geo-spatial EIA: A shrimp farming case study. Environmental Impact Assessment Review,22(4), 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Paul, B. G., & Vogl, C. R. (2011). Impacts of shrimp farming in Bangladesh: Challenges and alternatives. Ocean and Coastal Management,54, 201–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pelletier, N., & Tyedmers, P. (2010). Life cycle assessment of frozen Tilapia Fillets from Indonesian Lake-based and pond-based intensive aquaculture systems. Journal of Industrial Ecology,14, 467–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Polovina, J., & Brown, H. (1978). A population dynamics model for prawn aquaculture. Proceedings of the World Mariculture Society,8, 93–404.Google Scholar
  53. Pushpam, K. (2012). Impact of economic drivers on mangroves of Indian Sundarbans: An exploration of missing links. Environment, Development and Sustainability,14(6), 939–953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Qudrat-Ullah, H., & Seong, B. S. (2010). How to do structural validity of a system dynamics type simulation model: The case of an energy policy model. Energy Policy,38, 2216–2224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ramesh, T. (2005). Modeling water quality management alternatives for a nutrient impaired stream using system dynamics simulation. Journal of Environmental Informatics,5(2), 72–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Randall, E. B. (1999). Integrated aquaculture in subsaharan Africa. Environment, Development and Sustainability,1(3–4), 315–321.Google Scholar
  57. Rekha, N. P. (2015). Assessment of impact of shrimp farming on coastal groundwater using geographical information system based analytical hierarchy process. Aquaculture,448, 491–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rosita, H., Azmah, O., & Fatimah, K. (2015). Climate change effects on aquaculture production performance in Malaysia: An environmental performance analysis. International Journal of Business and Society,16(3), 364–385.Google Scholar
  59. Shi, T., & Gill, R. (2005). Developing effective policies for the sustainable development of ecological agriculture in China: The case study of Jinshan County with a systems dynamics mode. Ecological Economics,53(2), 223–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Shih, Y.-C., et al. (2009). Geographic information system applied to measuring benthic environmental impact with chemical measures on mariculture at Penghu Islet in Taiwan. Science of the Total Environment,407, 1824–1833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Singkran, N., & Sudara, S. (2005). Effects of changing environments of mangrove creeks on fish communities at Trat Bay, Thailand. Environmental Management,35(1), 45–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tao, Z. (2010). Scenarios of China’s oil consumption per capita (OCPC) using a hybrid Factor Decomposition-System Dynamics (SD) simulation. Energy,35(1), 168–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wang, X.-J., Zhang, J.-Y., & Liu, J.-F. (2011). Water resources planning and management based on system dynamics: A case study of Yulin city. Environment, Development and Sustainability,19(4), 1473–1487.Google Scholar
  64. Xu, Z., Lin, X., Lin, Q., Yang, Y., & Wang, Y. (2007). Nitrogen, phosphorus, and energy waste outputs of four marine cage-cultured fish fed with trash fish. Aquaculture,263, 130–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siti Hanani Isa
    • 1
  • Mohd Noor Afiq Ramlee
    • 2
  • Muhamad Safiih Lola
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mhd Ikhwanuddin
    • 3
  • Mohamad N Azra
    • 3
  • Mohd Tajuddin Abdullah
    • 2
  • Syerrina Zakaria
    • 1
  • Yahaya Ibrahim
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Ocean Engineering Technology and InformaticsUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala NerusMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable DevelopmentUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala NerusMalaysia
  3. 3.Institute of Tropical AquacultureUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala NerusMalaysia
  4. 4.Faculty of Applied Social ScienceUniversiti Sultan Zainal AbidinKuala NerusMalaysia

Personalised recommendations