he mean trophic level of the farmed fish species in the Mediterranean has been increasing. We examined the farming-up hypothesis (i.e., the increase in the production of high-trophic-level species) in the Mediterranean by determining the trophic level of the aquafeeds (i.e., what the fish are fed) of 5 species of farmed marine fishes: common dentex (Dentex dentex), common pandora (Pagellus erythrinus), European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), and red porgy (Pagrus sp.). The mean trophic level of aquafeed used in mariculture from 1950 to 2011 was higher (3.93) than the prey farmed fish consume in the wild (3.72) and increased at a faster rate (0.48/decade) compared with that based on their diets in the wild (0.43/decade). Future expected replacement of the fishmeal and oil in aquafeeds by plant materials may reverse the farming-up trend, although there are a number of concerns regarding operational, nutritional, environmental, and economic issues. The farming-up reversal can be achieved in an ecologically friendly manner by facilitating the mariculture of low-trophic-level fishes and by promoting high efficiency in the use of living marine resources in aquafeeds.
Aquaculture, Seafood, and Food Security
Ecosystem based ocean management processes seek to manage intricately linked social–ecological systems. These processes are intended to include and integrate appropriate economic, environmental, and social input into decision-making. To address identified challenges with gathering social data this study uses the Q-method to characterize different perspectives about what is valued about the ocean, seafood, and the community in the seafood sector of a single coastal community in British Columbia, Canada. Drawing on a sample of 42 people from the sector, this study identified a range of values, that group together into five distinct perspectives. These perspectives provide insight into how people value the experience versus the utility of the ocean and the different value they attribute to the outcomes of ocean management versus the process deployed. Values do not group together by seafood sub-sector, although the importance of teaching, stewardship, and conservation and respect for the ocean’s resilience are common to all. On the other hand, the various perspectives most sharply diverge with respect to the role of aquaculture and special rights of access. This work demonstrates how the Q-method can help to identify, capture, and compare social values within a sector. In addition, this method can provide participants with a forum to discuss what is important and can provide a common vocabulary that cuts across existing constituencies. This has the potential to facilitate the consideration of a broad range of social values in ocean management.
The biofuels community has shown considerable interest in the possibility that microalgae could contribute significantly to providing a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Microalgae species with high growth rates and high yields of oil that can be grown on domestic wastewater using nonarable land could produce biofuel without competing with agriculture. It is difficult to envision where the cultivation facilities would be located to produce the quantity of algae needed for fuels, given that these facilities must be close to wastewater treatment plants to save energy.
Researchers investigated a possible solution called Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae for coastal cities. This system involved growing fast-growing, oil-producing freshwater algae in flexible, inexpensive clear plastic photobioreactors attached to floating docks anchored offshore in naturally or artificially protected bays. Wastewater and carbon dioxide from coastal facilities provided water, nutrients, and carbon. The surrounding seawater controlled the temperature inside the photobioreactors and killed any algae that might escape. The salt gradient between seawater and wastewater created forward osmosis to concentrate nutrients and to facilitate algae harvesting. Both the algae and forward osmosis cleaned the wastewater, removing nutrients as well as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, so-called compounds of emerging concern.
This report provided the results of two years of research into the feasibility of the Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae system in which prototype systems were studied, built, and tested in seawater tanks. A 110-liter floating system was developed and scaled up to 1,600 liters. Algae’s ability to grow on and treat wastewater was described. The impact of biofouling on photobioreactors and forward osmosis membranes floating in the marine environment was considered. Life-cycle and technoeconomic analyses provided a perspective on what must be done to make this system commercially viable. Outreach efforts have carried the concept worldwide. sions from conversion for development.
Technological solutions to increase the efficiency of spatial use can play a key role as part of the toolbox of marine spatial planning. Co-locating of multiple ocean uses can potentially increase the production and enjoyment of the ocean while limiting impacts. However, a basic precondition for co-locating or coproduction is that all parties' private incentives are aligned. We use a case study of co-locating an offshore wind energy firm and a mussel aquaculture firm to assess the incentive structure for cooperation and to demonstrate that social benefits from co-locating exist. We find that there is room for cooperation between firms based on potential cost sharing and that the demonstrated social benefits may arise without government intervention.
The large tuna resources of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are delivering great economic benefits to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) through sale of licences to distant water fishing nations and employment in fish processing. However, tuna needs to contribute to Pacific Island societies in another important way—by increasing local access to the fish required for good nutrition to help combat the world’s highest levels of diabetes and obesity. Analyses reported here demonstrate that coastal fisheries in 16 of the 22 PICTs will not provide the fish recommended for good nutrition of growing Pacific Island populations, and that by 2020 tuna will need to supply 12% of the fish required by PICTs for food security, increasing to 25% by 2035. In relative terms, the percentages of the region’s tuna catch that will be needed in 2020 and 2035 to fill the gap in domestic fish supply are small, i.e., 2.1% and 5.9% of the average present-day industrial catch, respectively. Interventions based on expanding the use of nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs) to assist small-scale fishers catch tuna, distributing small tuna and bycatch offloaded by industrial fleets at regional ports, and improving access to canned tuna for inland populations, promise to increase access to fish for sustaining the health of the region’s growing populations. The actions, research and policies required to implement these interventions effectively, and the investments needed to maintain the stocks underpinning the considerable socio-economic benefits that flow from tuna, are described.
With globalization, agriculture and aquaculture activities are increasingly affected by diseases that are spread through movement of crops and stock. Such movements are also associated with the introduction of non-native species via hitchhiking individual organisms. The oyster industry, one of the most important forms of marine aquaculture, embodies these issues. In Europe disease outbreaks affecting cultivated populations of the naturalized oyster Crassostrea gigas caused a major disruption of production in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mitigation procedures involved massive imports of stock from the species’ native range in the northwestern Pacific from 1971 to 1977. We assessed the role stock imports played in the introduction of non-native marine species (including pathogens) from the northwestern Pacific to Europe through a methodological and critical appraisal of record data. The discovery rate of non-native species (a proxy for the introduction rate) from 1966 to 2012 suggests a continuous vector activity over the entire period. Disease outbreaks that have been affecting oyster production since 2008 may be a result of imports from the northwestern Pacific, and such imports are again being considered as an answer to the crisis. Although successful as a remedy in the short and medium terms, such translocations may bring new diseases that may trigger yet more imports (self-reinforcing or positive feedback loop) and lead to the introduction of more hitchhikers. Although there is a legal framework to prevent or reduce these introductions, existing procedures should be improved.
Growing interest in sustainable seafood has led to the proliferation of third-party certifications and eco-labels. This paper examines the ongoing debate that has surrounded a potential government-operated certification program for federally managed fisheries in the United States. Drawing on an analysis of transcripts from the Marine Fishery Advisory Committee meetings between 2007 and 2014, the paper considers the ways the proposed program was justified and how the multi-year discussion led to recommendations that encourage the National Marine Fisheries Service to create a framework for a certification program based on the principles defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. It is through this discussion that it becomes apparent that sustainability claims extend beyond the scientific domain, making them fruitful grounds for understanding the emergence of policy and how power and legitimacy are negotiated and maintained through the process.
Drawing on a case study in Germany, this contribution explores the practical application of offshore aquaculture within offshore wind farms in view of the different stakeholders involved. Using a transdisciplinary research approach, an understanding of the rationalities and interests among the different involved stakeholder groups was explored. Offshore wind energy is high on the political agenda in Germany. The vast spatial requirements however inherit potential user conflicts with competing, and under current legislation excluded users such as fishermen. Solutions for combining sustainable uses of the same ocean space have thus seen increasing interest within the research community in Germany and in Europe over the past years. This paper was inspired by and presents the outcomes of a stakeholder analysis and in particular a stakeholder workshop. Central focus was placed on academics and private as well as public stakeholders engaged in current research efforts of combining offshore wind farms and aquaculture in the German North Sea. The paper identifies the overall acceptance of such a multi-use scenario in society, opportunities and constraints as perceived by the stakeholders, and key research gaps. The results confirm the assumption that there is a clear need, and also willingness on behalf of the policy makers and the research community, to find sustainable, resource- and space-efficient solutions for combined ocean use.
Different seafood products based on Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) fisheries and freshwater aquaculture of trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and black pacu (Colossoma macropomum), contribute at different scales to the socio-economic development, environmental degradation and nutrition of the Peruvian population. Various indicators have been used in the literature to assess the performance of these industries regarding different aspects of sustainability, notably their socio-economic performance. In this study, a novel set of indicators is proposed to evaluate the sustainability performance of these industries in Peru, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and nutritional profiling, as well as on energy and socio-economic assessment approaches. The emphasis is put on the potential of different products to contribute to improving the nutrition of the Peruvian population in an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and socio-economically sound way. The set of indicators includes biotic resource use (BRU), cumulative energy demand (CED), energy return on investment (EROI), production costs, gross profit generation, added value, and nutritional profile in terms of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids; as well as a number of life cycle impact assessment indicators commonly used in seafood studies, and some recently proposed indicators of resource status (measuring the impacts of fish biomass removal at the species and ecosystem levels). Results suggest that more energy-intensive/highly processed products (cured and canned anchoveta products) represent a higher burden, in terms of environmental impact, than less energy-intensive products (salted and frozen anchoveta products, semi-intensive aquaculture products). This result is confirmed when comparing all products regarding their industrial-to-nutritional energy ratio. Regarding the other attributes analysed, the scoring shows that salted and frozen anchoveta products generate fewer jobs and lower gross profit than canned and cured, while aquaculture products maximise them. Overall, it was concluded that less energy-intensive industries (anchoveta freezing and salting) are the least environmentally impacting but also the least economically interesting products, yet delivering higher nutritional value. Aquaculture products maximise gross profit and job creation, with lower energy efficiency and nutritional values. The proposed set of sustainability indicators fulfilled its goal in providing a multi-criteria assessment of anchoveta direct human consumption and freshwater aquaculture products. As often the case, there is no ideal product and the best trade-off must be sought when making decision regarding fisheries and seafood policy. No threshold for performance of the different indicators is offered, because the goal of the comparison is to contrast the relative performance among products, not of products against reference values.