Aquaculture

Aquaculture

Aquaculture is now the fastest growing food-producing sector.

Aquaculture is now the fastest growing food-producing sector.

Currently, this sector is responsible for about 47% of all the marketed aquatic species for human consumption within the world. This is expected to increase to 62% by 2030 according to the FAO (food and agriculture organization of the United Nations) outlook. If the aquaculture sector shows great promise for human food, the fact remains that this sector must face many challenges. Many parameters need to be considered in order to place the sector in a sustainable framework on an environmental, economic and social level.

The key issues for a sustainable aquaculture are :

  • Food of aquaculture species (ensure healthy stocks of wild fish that will be converted into oil and fish meal, reduction in the rate of food conversion index of aquaculture species, removal of plant foods which are developed from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)…)
  • Respect of animal welfare in the culture and slaughter practices.
  • Limitation of veterinary treatments (antibiotics…) to preserve the quality of waters and products intended for human consumption.
  • Respect of social conditions of farm employees.
  • Consideration of social impacts on the populations around the farm.
  • Reversibility and compensation for environmental effects associated with natural area conversion in the construction of farms.
  • In the case of mariculture : the reduction of environmental impacts (aggregative effect (FAD effect) of sea cages, impacts on wild stocks near the cages (in case of disease or escaped individuals), disturbance of the currents, food discharges, effluent discharges, soil salinization…).
  • In the case of farming with land-based basins : the choice of a source of renewable energy used for the farm operation.