Rethink Aquaculture to boost resources and production effiency
The world's oceans, lakes and rivers are no longer an unlimited source of human food because many of the world's fish stocks have been fished to their limits or are on the verge of collapse. This encourages the aquaculture sector to grow, but if aquaculture farms are poorly located or poorly managed they have the potential for significant negative impacts on the environment. An ever-increasing demand for fish thus calls for more sustainable and more efficient solutions.
Besides the healthy aspects and seafood's great taste, life underwater is efficient in converting feed to protein. For more than four decades, the worldwide demand for fish has increased at almost twice the rate of the growth in global population. Today half of the fish consumed comes from aquaculture.
Avoiding impact on aquatic environments
Even if aquaculture has to some extent eased the stress on wild fish stocks, poorly located and poorly managed aquaculture production has significant negative impact on the environment.
Some of the promising sustainable aquaculture solutions are off-coast marine production and modern land-based recirculation systems in which farming takes place at a safe distance from aquatic environments sensitive to aquaculture activities. The combination of smolt and fry production in land-based recirculation systems and grow-out undertaken off-coast in the sea ensure a resource and water efficiency that is second to none.
State-of-the-art recirculation systems
Farmers compete with other sectors for access to resources and space, whether at sea or on land. These factors can be important barriers against establishing or expanding conventional aquaculture farms. Looking into land-based recirculation systems, the advantage is that they use less than 500 litres of water per kilo of fish produced compared to the land-based flow-through systems, in which water intake is typically around 50,000 litres per kilo of fish produced. Other important benefits include the 24/7 monitoring and control that ensure consistently good water quality and feeding programmes tailored to the particular needs of individual species. These optimised conditions boost growth, minimise the risk of disease and mortality, and reduce medication to a minimum.Watch the video: Videoliste/Rethinking Aquaculture