Herman E. Daly noted in 1992 that maintaining the scale of the physical economy within ecological capacity is vital in pursuing sustainability, leading to the use of biophysical assessments as a central concept in sustainability analysis from the perspective of ecological economics. Accordingly, this study provides an empirical support for the key role of biophysical assessments in sustainability analysis, by presenting the pictures of Taiwan freshwater aquaculture from monetary and biophysical perspectives. The analytical results demonstrate that freshwater aquaculture contributes to Taiwan's economic prosperity from a monetary perspective, but causes land subsidence from the biophysical perspective. Results of this study also indicate the critical role of spatial dimension in biophysical assessments. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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