While freshwater farming dates back thousands of years, the farming of the seas is a more recent endeavour. Aquaculture now sits alongside traditional fishing and larger fisheries as a source of nutritious food for the world’s population. The list of aquatic organisms that can be grown in controlled conditions, or cultured, spans fish, molluscs, crustaceans and algae including kelps and seaweeds, continues to expand.
Successful farming depends on species-specific and site-specific management. Spatial planning, condition management and biosecurity for example all have an effect on and can pose a potential risk to yield and neighbouring ecosystems. Industry players should be encouraged to adopt a precautionary attitude in managing risk and reacting quickly if something seems unusual.
Meanwhile as demand for high maintenance species grows worldwide, aqua-farmers are having to adopt and get to grips with more sophisticated equipment required for husbandry. Techniques will need to be refined and modified as they expand into new areas, farm higher tropic level species, and to respond to climate change.
There are also societal concerns in some areas of the global aquaculture industry related to providing safe working environments and conditions for workers. Sadly, unprofessional practices are widespread, which suggests a need for regional capacity development
The Aquaculture Special Interest Group (SIG) works closely with experts and other stakeholders in the aquaculture community as well as policymakers in addressing these challenges and aims to provide targeted support for aquaculture professionals and contribute to international initiatives that aim to improve management practices. Acting under an overall objective to introduce standards in operations and raise awareness of new technologies and offer new opportunities for professional development, this group will bring together industry partners to share knowledge and experiences across the industry.
This SIG is newly established, and we intend to host a formal launch soon. To get involved in our efforts to support global aquaculture improvements, register your interest in becoming a member of the committee by contacting .
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Connect with this Special Interest Group on Nexus, the networking and collaboration tool for members of the IMarEST.