The Aquaculture Plannning Simulator

FAO Fisheries Department

Fishery Softwares

APS - The Aquaculture Plannning Simulator

The APS has been developed to assist a user with limited knowledge of the sector in the analysis of the information contained in project proposals and their comparison with data collected from existing aquaculture projects.

Each project proposal is entered in APS using the project identification section and could be elaborated through a simulation phase which compares the entered data with those of similar projects already in operation and grouped in a homogeneous way according to the species cultures, type of technology, geographic area, etc. (DAE Reference Data Bank). This comparison could be effected in different ways as the user can also decide which of the projects in the DAE should be used for the comparison and how they should be grouped.

Once the simulation phase is started, the eventual discrepancies between the project proposal and the data collected from existing projects could be progressively corrected in order to obtain a technically feasible design. Once the technical design of the project is completed, the APS allows, as an option, a financial analysis of project spanning over twenty years from the start of the construction of the aquaculture farm. The program does it by recovering from the technical data section all the indications of economic nature which could be useful for the financial analysis as well as requesting financial data. From the proposed project design, the APS can simulate scenarios, both technical and economical, generating several versions of the proposal and eventually carrying out a financial analysis of the various hypothesis. Helpfunctions are provided for almost every field in order to assist users without much experience in this type of programs.

APS was conceived with three potential users in mind:

  • The aquaculture planning officers in the governments, who might be interested in a comparative analysis of the various production models.
  • The banks, which could make use of a data bank including the main parameters of existing projects in order to evaluate the validity of the proposals submitted to them for financing;
  • The private sector, which might be interested in obtaining information to improve the design of new projects or in comparing the performance of their projects with that of other projects in the area or working with the same species.

This work has been undertaken in collaboration with the aquaculture firm Servizi Tecnici in Maricoltura (STM) Padua, Italy.

Key Features:
The input division of APS consists of four different sections:
General identification of the project

  • - Infrastructure characteristics
  • - Technology used for production
  • - Main economic parameters
The following output options are generated:
  • Simulation and comparison with projects in the DAE
Once the introduction of data of the new project proposal is finished, the user can start the comparison (in interactive mode) of his project against similar projects and later its analysis. In order to initiate the comparison with existing projects, the user must first choose which projects contained in the Data Entry (DAE) will be used.

The program offers three comparison options:

  • automatic selection of the farms using the same type of production technology, species or group of species and commercial orientation
  • design user own filter with respect to the projects contained in the DAE according to his personal preferences
  • eliminate all filters (global comparison).
Financial analysis
Once additional specific financial data have been entered, the program calculates and shows the results of the analysis in an automatic way, as a series of tables:
  • Investments and Amortization
  • Longterm Loans and Bank Overdrafts
  • Revenues
  • Selling Costs
  • Variable Production Costs
  • Fixed Production Costs
  • Working Capital
  • Profit and Loss Accounts, and
  • Estimated Overdraft
System Requirements:
The APS package can, in general, be utilized with any IBM PC or compatible machine using the MSDOS 3.3 system or a newer release. It is designed to work with a minimum of 640 kBytes RAM and has a limited harddisk space requirement. At present, the program has been compiled in two version which work at 16 and 32 Bits. The reason for the two versions is to ensure the widest possible distribution to users having different configurations of hardware and to speed up the response time of the machines. Inorder to use the 16Bit version, it is sufficient to count upon an INTEL 80386 internal processor with 4 MBytes RAM, while for the 32 Bits version (recommended) an INTEL 80486 with 8 MBytes RAM is recommended. As for harddisk drive space , at the moment 6 MBytes are sufficient. However, with the progressive input of data into the DAE more space will be required.

This program has been designed for use in projects involving Governments, which have to establish an input centre for the APS. It is not yet available for wider distribution (private sector, Universities, etc.) as it requires a central control for the input of the data in the module that compares performance between projects.

Responsible Officer:
M. Pedini, Senior Adviser (Aquaculture Dev.). FIRI,
FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39 6 57056279 Fax 39 6 57053020
E mail:Mario.Pedini@FAO.Org

Data Administrator:
S. Coppola, Fishery Resources Officer, FIRM,
FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy
Tel. 39 6 57053034 Fax 39 6 57053020
E mail:Rino.Coppola@FAO.Org