Aquaculture for all

Humber Seafood Summit: Environmental and Disease Issues Still a Hurdle for Sustainable Aquaculture

Sustainability Economics +1 more

GLOBAL - Dan Lee, Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) discussed how we should be moving from responsible to sustainable aquaculture during his presentation at the Humber Seafood Summit, which took place on Thursday 18 September in Grimsby, UK, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

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Aquaculture has so far made a lot of progress, said Mr Lee.

There is a strong demand for products, many fish can now be bred in captivity successfully and an increasing number of farms are committing to sustainable and responsible certification schemes.

Mr Lee noted that there has been good growth for GAA's BAP standards but that overall, only 4.6 per cent of farms are actually certified by any standard.

This low figure is partly due to the huge amount of carp farms in China for which there has been no push to certify and also a large amount of farms which do not require standards as they are small scale backyard producers who are not exporting fish.

Mr Lee continued to say that there are also still three areas that require more focus in order for aquaculture to become more sustainable.

Firstly, the use of sustainable feed is still a problem in Asian shrimp production due to poor management and mixed species fisheries. The other main aquaculture species have achieved sustainable sourcing of feed, but Asian shrimp still requires more work and collaborative working will be essential to develop common requirements for feed, Mr Lee continued.

Similarly, the second area - outstanding social issues - is again only a problem for Asian shrimp production. At present work is being done to tackle this after reports from the Environmental Justice Foundation highlighted labour abuse in the shrimp sector.

The final area which is an issue that needs addressing in the production of all the major fish species is environment and disease issues.

This mainly relates to disease spread, sea lice and zonal issues.

Many schemes and organisations, including the GAA, are now working to try and solve these issues.

An Aquaculture Zone Management standard is currently being created by GAA and this could become the BAP fifth star, said Mr Lee.

This standard will be be voluntary and will be applicable to all aquaculture species. It will focus on resolving disease issues through quarrantine, best practice and zonal management.

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