Change size of text Print

"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."

- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist


Blue Frontiers: Managing the environmental costs of aquaculture

Blue Frontiers: Managing the environmental costs of aquaculture is a new publication from The WorldFish Center and Conservation International. The report analyzes how the global aquaculture industry uses natural resources and its impacts on the environment. It makes a broad-brush comparison of aquaculture with other animal food production systems and extrapolates from past history to look forward and identify potential future impacts. The paper also proposes important recommendations for policy makers and scientists engaged in debate on the future of food production and nutrition security

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food production sectors in the world. It has grown at an average annual rate of 8.4 per cent since 1970 and total production reached 65.8 million tonnes in 2008. China and the rest of Asia supply 91 per cent of global production. Despite the overall dominance of Asia, however, aquaculture is an important economic activity on most continents and its importance is growing almost everywhere.

Carp production dominates in both China and the rest of Asia while in Europe and South America it is salmonids. African aquaculture production is almost exclusively of ?n?sh, of which tilapias are the most important. Shrimps and prawns dominate in Oceania, while North American production is more evenly distributed among species with shrimps and prawns, cat?sh, bivalves and salmonids accounting for the majority of production.

The worldwide growth in aquaculture production is variable from one area to another. Over the last ?ve years growth has been high in China and the rest of Asia at 30 per cent and 56 per cent, respectively. It is also high in Oceania at 37 per cent and South America at 39 per cent. The highest growth rate over this period, however, was in Africa at 81 per cent, albeit from a very low baseline. Growth of cat?sh culture in Asia (307 per cent) and Africa (496 per cent) has been explosive.

Also, and of increasing signi?cance, is the trend in the proportion of ? sh provided by aquaculture as opposed to the more conventional capture ?sheries. Supply from aquaculture is now dominant for seaweeds (99.5 per cent) carps (89.9 per cent) and salmonids (72.8 per cent). Cultured tilapia, cat?sh, mollusks, crabs and lobsters are currently 50 per cent of total supply.

The rapid growth of aquaculture has raised questions concerning the environmental sustainability of industry growth. Central to these concerns are the demands that aquaculture places on biophysical resources (inputs) and the demands placed on the environment from wastes (outputs). Unsustainable consumption of resources will ultimately undermine productivity and bring it into competition for resources with other sectors, while the externalities arising from the discharge of waste materials need to be factored into environmental impact analyses.

Logically associated with this topic is the need to understand how aquaculture, with its many different production systems, compares with other animal protein production practices (such as that of poultry, pork or beef) in terms of ef?ciency and the relative degree of environmental impact, and what the likely future impacts of aquaculture will be.

Download rapporten

< Tilbage til efterretninger


Akvakultur er fisk i kultur! De skal selvfølgelig have det godt og have noget at spise. Du kan fodre fiskene ved at klikke på din mus over fiskedammen!