ShellGIS is available as a desktop application for Windows XP through to Windows 8. Availability is subject to a Licence Agreement for nominal fee within the context of collaborative work, and which is negotiable within commercial contexts, all subject to appropriate training and preparation for any given geographic area, as outlined under Project Implementation (see below).

Project implementation

Project implementation might progress as follows:

  1. Requirement for ShellGIS through a manager or extension agent on behalf of shellfish growers over a defined geographic area;
  2. Request to ShellGIS team from manager or extension agent for work plan and costs to prepare ShellGIS for that area;
  3. Agreement of responsibilities and funding among ShellGIS team, manager or extension agent and shellfish growers;
  4. Existing data entered, field data collected and ShellGIS prepared, with any required development for further culture systems;
  5. ShellGIS delivered with training and demonstration to manager or extension agent; and
  6. System available for use on behalf of shellfish growers by manager or extension agent, with on-going support from the ShellGIS team as appropriate

Requirements for use

Required data is as follows:

  1. Geographic locations for other stakeholder interests or constraints throughout the system.
  2. Current flow and direction throughout tidal cycles, obtained either from an existing model, or which the ShellGIS team can predict from spatial bathymetry and tidal elevations.
  3. Seawater temperature, salinity, food available as suspended particles and dissolved oxygen, if ever falling below about 50% saturation, at a minimum of every 2 weeks through the shellfish growing season.
  4. Culture practice information such as species, whether on the bottom or suspended, seeding time, seeding density, market size, costs and returns.

Existing data, whether measured or predicted, such as for seawater temperature, salinity, available food or dissolved oxygen, including layers from other geographic information systems (GIS), can all be imported.

Species that ShellGIS has already been calibrated for include the mussels Mytilus edulis, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Perna canaliculus and Modiolus modiolus; oysters Crassostrea gigas, Crassostrea virginica, Crassostrea plicatula and Ostrea edulis; clams Ruditapes philippinarum, Ruditapes decussatus, Tegillarca (= Anadara) granosa and Sinonovacula constricta; and scallops Chlamys farreri and Pecten maximus. No additional biological data are required to run ShellGIS for these species. Standardised protocols and equipment are ready to calibrate ShellGIS for further species not listed here.

Should environmental measures be required within new areas, options within ShellGIS establish the minimal set of environmental data required to simulate effectively within contrasting locations. To help effect those measures, the ShellGIS team are developing a range of cost-effective monitoring buoys for automated data collection.

All simulations, whether hydrodynamic, for shellfish growth or for environmental effects can be validated using standardized field measures.