By moving away from coastal waters and hence reducing pressure on nearshore ecosystems, offshore aquaculture can be seen as a possible step towards the large-scale expansion of marine food production. Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) in nearshore water bodies has received increasing attention and could therefore play a role in the transfer of aquaculture operations to offshore areas. IMTA holds scope for multi-use of offshore areas and can bring environmental benefits from making use of waste products and transforming these into valuable co-products. Furthermore, they may act as alternative marine production systems and provide scope for alternative income options for coastal communities, e.g., by acting as nodes for farm operation and maintenance requirements. This paper summarizes the current state of knowledge on the implications of the exposed nature of offshore and open ocean sites on the biological, technological and socio-economic performance of IMTA. Of particular interest is improving knowledge about resource flows between integrated species in hydrodynamic challenging conditions that characterize offshore waters.
Aquaculture, Seafood, and Food Security
Ocean acidification may pose a major threat to commercial fisheries, especially those for calcifying shellfish species. This study was undertaken to estimate the potential economic costs resulting from ocean acidification on UK wild capture and aquaculture shellfish production. Applying the net present value (NPV) and partial equilibrium (PE) models, we estimate both direct and economy-wide economic losses of shellfish production by 2100. Estimates using the NPV method show that the direct potential losses due to reduced shellfish production range from 14% to 28% of fishery NPV. This equates to annual economic losses of between ö3 and ö6 billion of the UK’s GDP in 2013, for medium and high emission scenarios. Results using the PE model showed the total loss to the UK economy from shellfish production and consumption ranging from ö23–ö88 million. The results from both the direct valuation and predicted estimate for the economic losses on shellfish harvest indicate that there are regional variations due to different patterns of shellfish wild-capture and aquaculture, and the exploitation of species with differing sensitivities to ocean acidification. These results suggest that the potential economic losses vary depending on the chosen valuation method. This analysis is also partial as it did not include a wider group of species in early-life-stages or predator-prey effects. Nevertheless, findings show that the economic losses to the UK and its devolved administrations due to ocean acidification could be substantial. We conclude that addressing ocean acidification with the aim of preserving commercially valuable shellfish resources will require regional, national or international solutions using a combined approach to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions and shift in focus to exploit species that are less vulnerable to ocean acidification.
Authenticity and traceability of food products are of primary importance at all levels of the production process, from raw materials to finished products. Authentication is also a key aspect for accurate labeling of food, which is required to help consumers in selecting appropriate types of food products. With the aim of guaranteeing the authenticity of foods, various methodological approaches have been devised over the past years, mainly based on either targeted or untargeted analyses. In this review, a brief overview of current analytical methods tailored to authenticity studies, with special regard to fishery products, is provided. Focus is placed on untargeted methods that are attracting the interest of the analytical community thanks to their rapidity and high throughput; such methods enable a fast collection of “fingerprinting signals” referred to each authentic food, subsequently stored into large database for the construction of specific information repositories. In the present case, methods capable of detecting fish adulteration/substitution and involving sensory, physicochemical, DNA-based, chromatographic, and spectroscopic measurements, combined with chemometric tools, are illustrated and commented on.
We examined ∼300 newspaper and business‐oriented articles published over a 10‐year period to assess trends in how seafood “sustainability” is talked about. We mapped key concepts relating to seafood sustainability as the word was used. We asked if the reports provided evidence that perceptions of problems or solutions for sustainability in seafood have changed over time. What were emergent areas of interest, and what concepts relevant to sustainable fisheries and seafood were absent in the reports? The number of reports concerning sustainability that focused on the middle of the supply chain (e.g., primary processors and importers) increased over time; certification was cited as both part of sustainability problems and a solution. We observed very little change over time in the kinds of fishery and seafood problems reported in the media sampled; themes consistently focused on environmental aspects of fisheries (social wellbeing aspects did not appear in the sample as linked with the term “sustainability”); and very few media reports on sustainable seafood cited aquaculture as a solution. We discuss the gap between what many researchers may perceive as the state‐of‐the‐art of ideas and communication in seafood sustainability, and what appeared empirically in media during the period under study.
Seafood provides the most important source of protein on the planet, and millions in coastal communities depend on this sector for nutrition, livelihoods, and cultural values. Despite seafood's important role, in many locations the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to local food security have not been accurately assessed. An overview is provided of current and future contributions of seafood to food security in Hawai‘i through metrics using a supply chain approach from hook-to-plate, encompassing production and consumption. Hawai‘i's local seafood production is nearly 21,000 metric tons per year, with ~90% sourced from pelagic fisheries, and 6% from reef fisheries. Seafood is a bright spot in the overall Hawai‘i food system, providing a relatively higher degree of self-sufficiency than other food sources. Annual local production of seafood in Hawai‘i is estimated at 20,424,243 ± 1,958,488 kg (μ ± SD). Accounting for imports and exports, the total locally available seafood (32,450,820 kg ± 1,571,905 kg) accounts for about 134 ± 6.5 million meals available every year. Wild-capture fisheries (pelagic and nearshore) in Hawai‘i are modeled to be able to meet 45% or less of the growing seafood demand in Hawai‘i by 2040, compared to an estimated 55% in 2015. A projected 20% increase in total seafood demand by 2040 would exceed current average annual local production by up to 37%. Improvement in sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, and innovations in value and supply chains are critical if Hawai‘i is to improve its seafood security and the food provisioning functions of ocean and coastal environments.
A changing climate, in particular a warming ocean, is likely to impact marine industries in a variety of ways. For example, aquaculture businesses may not be able to maintain production in their current location into the future, or area-restricted fisheries may need to follow the fish as they change distribution. Preparation for these potential climate impacts can be improved with information about the future. Such information can support a risk-based management strategy for industries exposed to both short-term environmental variability and long-term change. In southern Australia, adverse climate impacts on valuable seafood industries have occurred, and they are now seeking advice about future environmental conditions. We introduce a decision tree to explain the potential use of long-term climate projections and seasonal forecasts by these industries. Climate projections provide insight into the likely time in the future when current locations will no longer be suitable for growing or catching particular species. Until this time, seasonal forecasting is beneficial in helping industries plan ahead to reduce impacts in poor years and maximize opportunities in good years. Use of seasonal forecasting can extend the period of time in which industries can cope in a location as environmental suitability declines due to climate change. While a range of short-term forecasting approaches exist, including persistence and climatological forecasts, only dynamic model forecasts provide a viable option for managing environmental risk for marine industries in regions where climate change is reducing environmental suitability and creating novel conditions.
Food insecurity remains a common problem for Southeast Asian communities that specialise in fishing. Food insecurity is closely linked to other social conditions, and the linkages between these social conditions and their underlying drivers are less well explored in fishing contexts than they are in agricultural contexts. In this paper I draw on fieldwork from a community that specialises in fishing in the Western Philippines to examine the linkages between and drivers of food and water insecurity. Food insecurity is common, and characterised by a lack of funds to buy food, particularly during periods of bad weather. Water insecurity is also characterised by the need to pay for the delivery of drinking water from one of several remote sources. Because of the central role of markets in communities that specialise in fishing, I argue that both food and water insecurity are driven by income poverty. Understanding the relations between food and water insecurity and the wider drivers of poverty in specialised fishing community contexts should generate improved understandings of how food and water insecurity persist, and how these conditions may be better addressed.
Predatory open access (OA) journals can be defined as non-indexed journals that exploit the gold OA model for profit, often spamming academics with questionable e-mails promising rapid OA publication for a fee. In aquaculture—a rapidly growing and highly scrutinized field—the issue of such journals remains undocumented. We employed a quantitative approach to determine whether attributes of scientific quality and rigor differed between OA aquaculture journals not indexed in reputable databases and well-established, indexed journals. Using a Google search, we identified several non-indexed OA journals, gathered data on attributes of these journals and articles therein, and compared these data to well-established aquaculture journals indexed in quality-controlled bibliometric databases. We then used these data to determine if non-indexed journals were likely predatory OA journals and if they pose a potential threat to aquaculture research. On average, non-indexed OA journals published significantly fewer papers per year, had cheaper fees, and were more recently established than indexed journals. Articles in non-indexed journals were, on average, shorter, had fewer authors and references, and spent significantly less time in peer review than their indexed counterparts; the proportion of articles employing rigorous statistical analyses was also lower for non-indexed journals. Additionally, articles in non-indexed journals were more likely to be published by scientists from developing nations. Worryingly, non-indexed journals were more likely to be found using a Google search, and their articles superficially resembled those in indexed journals. These results suggest that the non-indexed aquaculture journals identified herein are likely predatory OA journals and pose a threat to aquaculture research and the public education and perception of aquaculture. Several points of reference from this study, in combination, may help scientists and the public more easily identify these possibly predatory journals, as these journals were typically established after 2010, publishing <20 papers per year, had fees <$1,000, and published articles <80 days after submission. Subsequently checking reputable and quality-controlled databases such as the Directory of Open Access Journals, Web of Science, Scopus, and Thompson Reuters can aid in confirming the legitimacy of non-indexed OA journals and can facilitate avoidance of predatory OA aquaculture journals.
Resilience is a wide term that encompasses a variety of characteristics of different systems. The most common interpretation of resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb a change and reorganise to maintain its functions. This study explores the characteristics of resilience exhibited by a shellfish aquaculture-reliant coastal community in Kesennuma Bay, Japan, after the Great East Japan Earthquake, in relation to the principles of resilience as affected by local leadership. The community was greatly impacted by the tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown in terms of ecological, social, economic damage. A local non-profit organisation (NPO) played a central role in the community's effort to respond to the devastation and reorganise to become functional again and maintain its structures. The leadership potential exhibited throughout the process of community recovery was the key factor in achieving high levels of collective action and a reorganisation of the community.
Amidst overexploited fisheries and further climate related declines projected in tropical fisheries, marine dependent small-scale fishers in Southeast Asia face an uncertain future. Yet, small-scale fishers are seldom explicitly considered in regional fisheries management and their contribution to national fish supply tends to be greatly under-estimated compared to industrial fisheries. Lack of knowledge about the small-scale sector jeopardizes informed decision-making for sustainable ecosystem based fisheries planning and social development. We fill this knowledge gap by applying reconstructed marine fish catch statistics from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam—countries of the Gulf of Thailand—from 1950 to 2013 to assess the relative contribution of small-scale and industrial fisheries to national food security. Reconstructed catches quantify reported and unreported fish catch from industrial, small-scale, and recreational fishing. We then conduct a comparative analysis of the degree to which the industrial and small-scale sectors support food security, by converting total catch to the portion that is kept for human consumption and that which is diverted to fishmeal for animal feed or other purposes. Total reconstructed marine fish catch from the four Southeast Asian countries totalled 282 million t from 1950 to 2013, with small-scale sector catches being underestimated by an average of around two times. When the amount of fish that is diverted to fishmeal is omitted, small-scale fishers contribute more food fish for humans than do industrial fisheries for much of the period until 2000. These results encourage regional fisheries management to be cognisant of small-scale fisheries as a pillar of socio-economic well-being for coastal communities.