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Weekly Overview: New Study Highlights the Path for Sustainable Aquaculture

Lucy Towers
10 June 2014, at 1:00am

ANALYSIS - In this week's news, new research by World Resources Institute (WRI), WorldFish, the World Bank, INRA and Kasetsart University shows that farmed fish and shellfish production will likely need to increase by 133 per cent between 2010 and 2050 in order to meet projected fish demand worldwide, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

The study, Improving Productivity and Environmental Performance of Aquaculture, also finds that although aquaculture’s environmental impacts are likely to rise as production grows, there are a variety of actions producers can take to minimise impacts and encourage sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry. 

The five approaches to sustainable aquaculture production included the need to invest in technological innovation and transfer, using spatial planning and zoning to address carrying capacity, shift incentives to reward sustainability and shifting fish consumption toward fish that are low on the food chain - species such as tilapia, catfish, carp, and bivalve molluscs.

A new $120 million shrimp and sea cucumber farm complex is to be built in Qurun, Oman as part of a joint venture between the Arabian Marine Development, Bank Sohar and Lim Shrimp Organisation.

The farm expects to produce around 4,000 metric tons of shrimp and 2,000 metric tons of wet sea cucumber annually.

The use of shellfish and seaweed to consume waste produced by fish farms, particularly in farms attached to other ocean structures, is being researched at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, as a means for improving and protecting the marine environment.

Researchers are also looking at how blue mussels may protect salmon from amoebic gill disease (AGD) in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture.