Strategies to Get Aquaculture Growth Right The world’s appetite for fish is steadily growing. Finfish and shellfish currently make up one-sixth of the animal protein people consume globally. As the global wild fish catch peaked in the 1990s, aquaculture—or fish farming—has grown rapidly to meet world fish demand, more than doubling production between 2000 and 2012. New research shows that aquaculture production will need to more than double again between now and 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population. Getting Aquaculture Growth Right: 5 Approaches 1) Invest in technological innovation 2) Focus beyond the farm. Having many producers in the same area can lead to cumulative environmental impacts—such as water pollution or fish diseases—even if everyone is following the law. 3) Shift incentives to reward sustainability. A variety of public and private policies can give farmers incentives to practice more sustainable aquaculture. 4) Leverage the latest information technology. Advances in satellite and mapping technology, ecological modeling, open data, and connectivity mean that global-level monitoring and planning systems that encourage sustainable aquaculture development may now be possible. 5) Eat fish that are low on the food chain. Consumers should, therefore, demand species that feed low on the food chain—“low-trophic” species such as tilapia, catfish, carp, and bivalve mollusks.
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