Displaying items by tag: development
Progress must be better conveyed
From simple earth ponds to offshore net enclosures and computer-controlled RAS: no other area of food production has changed so rapidly in such a short time as aquaculture. The pace of development is overwhelming for many consumers and outside the industry there are enormous gaps in knowledge which often leads to misunderstandings and even raises fears. More explanation and elucidation will be necessary to enable a constructive dialogue.
The term aquaculture has had some quite different meanings throughout history. It first appeared in 1855 in a newspaper article in connection with the storage of ice for cooling purposes in the summer months, and later on it was also used for irrigation practices in agriculture. Since the end of the 19th century (around 1890), however, it has increasingly been understood as a collective term for the methods used for the cultivation of aquatic plants and the rearing of various aquatic animal species. These mainly include fish, molluscs and crustaceans, but also aquatic reptiles, amphibians and some invertebrates, including echinoderms such as sea cucumbers or sea urchins. To be successful, aquaculture requires precise knowledge about the biology of the organisms produced, their food requirements, and their daily needs. In contrast to capture fisheries, which exploit fish stocks as a common pool resource, the plants and animals produced in aquaculture are the property of the producer or company.
This article was featured in the EUROFISH Magazine 6/2019.
Aquaculture continues to grow faster than other major food production sectors reports the FAO’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 (SOFIA). In the last few years this statement has become a motto for the European aquaculture sector to persuade local, regional, national and European regulators to develop consistent strategies and programmes to replicate global growth in the sector at the European level.
In 1956 only 1.2 million tonnes of farmed fish and seafood products were produced globally, a figure that climbed to 3.73m tonnes in 1976 (about 300%), and to 26.54 million tonnes (about 700%) over the next 20 years. Between 1996 and 2016 global aquaculture reached a peak of 80 million tonnes (about 300%) and is still growing, while growth in the European Union lags far behind. In this context the International Organisation for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe (EUROFISH) in collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the Italian Ministry for Agriculture, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism, and the Italian Fish Farmers Association (API), organised an event to discuss the future of European aquaculture as seen by a wide range of stakeholders. The international conference “Aquaculture Today & Tomorrow. Unlock the Potential” was attended by more than 100 participants from 28 countries.