Sustainable Seas and Sustainable Aquaculture
This intoduction is taken from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization www.fao.org/focus/e/fisheries/sustaq.htm
"Aquaculture is currently playing, and will continue to play, a big part in boosting global fish production and in meeting rising demand for fishery products. A recent session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) stressed the increasingly important and complementary role of aquaculture and inland capture fisheries in fish production for human nutrition and poverty alleviation in many rural areas.
Aquaculture, in common with all other food production practices, is facing challenges for sustainable development. Most aqua-farmers, like their terrestrial counterparts, are continuously pursuing ways and means of improving their production practices, to make them more efficient and cost-effective. Awareness of potential environmental problems has increased significantly. Efforts are under way to further improve human capacity, resource use and environmental management in aquaculture. COFI emphasized enhancement of inland fish production through integrated aquaculture-agriculture farming systems and integrated utilization of small and medium-size water bodies.
Integrated aquaculture has a variety of benefits for farmers in addition to the production of fish for consumption or sale. In Asia, for example, rice farmers use certain species of fish to fight rice pests such as the golden snail. With rice-fish farming, they boost their rice yields and harvest the fish. Under FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), farmers in Zambia are introducing small ponds into their home gardens for irrigation and aquaculture. Mud from the bottom of fish ponds is also an organic mineral-rich fertilizer.
In traditional, extensive aquaculture, fish can be bred in open waters such as lakes, estuaries or coastal bays, where they feed on naturally available nutrients, or in farm ponds, where they can be fed with by-products from the farm. Traditionally in China, more than five species of carp are bred together to make the best use of feeds and ponds.
The promotion of sustainable aquaculture development requires that "enabling environments", in particular those aimed at ensuring continuing human resource development and capacity building, are created and maintained. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries contains principles and provisions in support of sustainable aquaculture development. The Code recognizes the Special Requirements of Developing Countries, and its Article 5 addresses in particular these needs, especially in the areas of financial and technical assistance, technology transfer, training and scientific cooperation."
Links between Sustainable Oceans and Sustainable Aquaculture from Wikipedia
Aquaculture is the most rapidly expanding food industry in the world[ s a result of declining wild fisheries stocks and profitable business. In 2008, aquaculture provided 45.7% of the fish produced globally for human consumption; increasing at an mean rate of 6.6% a year since 1970.
Offshore aquaculture, also known as open ocean aquaculture, is an emerging approach to mariculture or marine farming where fish farms are moved some distance offshore. The farms are positioned in deeper and less sheltered waters, where ocean currents are stronger than they are inshore.
One of the concerns with inshore aquaculture is that discarded nutrients and faeces can settle below the farm on the seafloor and damage the benthic ecosystem. According to its supporters, the wastes from aquaculture that has been moved offshore tend to be swept away from the site and diluted. Moving aquaculture offshore also provides more space where aquaculture production can expand to meet the increasing demands for fish. It avoids many of the conflicts that occur with other marine resource users in the more crowded inshore waters, though there can still be user conflicts offshore. Critics are concerned about issues such as the ongoing consequences of using antibiotics and other drugs and the possibilities of cultured fish escaping and spreading disease among wild fish.
How is aquaculture contyrolled (South Australia as an example)?
From Premium food and wine from our clean environment
South Australia is widely viewed as a world leader in the sustainable development of aquaculture, with dedicated legislation in place to protect and manage the State’s aquatic resources. The seafood industry, PIRSA and EPA have worked to ensure that SA’s aquaculture production is sustainably managed in the state’s pristine marine environments.
The protection of the aquatic environment through environmental monitoring, aquatic animal health programs and strict zoning requirements, ensures South Australian seafood retains a high standard of environmental credentials while providing certainty and opportunity for industry investment.
Aquaculture may be undertaken on land in tanks and ponds to raise species such as abalone, barramundi, Murray Cod, Rainbow/Brown Trout, yabbies and marron. Aquaculture also occurs offshore in marine waters to grow species such as Southern Bluefin Tuna, Yellowtail Kingfish, Blue Mussels, Pacific Oysters and abalone. Methods used in offshore areas include cages, long lines and/or racks depending on the species that is being cultured
The aquaculture industry in South Australia is managed by Primary Industries and Regions SA(PIRSA) through the Aquaculture Act 2001. All aquaculture activities are required to have a licence that is issued under the Aquaculture Act. In addition, marine aquaculture sites are also required to have a lease that grants tenure of that site for a certain period of time.
The Aquaculture Act also allows for the establishment of Aquaculture Zones, which specifies areas permitted for a certain classes of aquaculture. Aquaculture that is undertaken outside of an aquaculture zone or is land-based must obtain development approval under the Development Act 1993.
Marine aquaculture operations with associated land-based facilities, for example oyster sheds, are not licensed by PIRSA Aquaculture. However, they still require development approval under the Development Act 1993.
All aquaculture licensees are also required to prepare an annual environmental monitoring report under the Aquaculture Regulations 2005, administered by PIRSA.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is a mandatory referral agency under the Aquaculture Act 2001 for all aquaculture licence applications and amendments, and for lease conversions that occur outside an aquaculture zone.When assessing aquaculture applications, the EPA considers the following environmental issues which may be associated with aquaculture including water quality, waste, site contamination, noise, odour, shading and scouring (impacts to sea floor)
An EPA representative (a person engaged in the administration of the EP Act), sits on the Aquaculture Advisory Committee, which is responsible for advising the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries on matters relating to aquaculture.