Sustainable Aquaculture Policies are Critical for this Growing Industry
Given the rapid growth of aquaculture, careful oversight is urgent. Every country has a diverse array of farms and farming systems that will continue to require innovative solutions by management agencies, lawmakers, researchers, NGOs, and importantly, the farmers themselves.
Use Sustainable Feed Ingredients Efficiently and Responsibly
Feed use is considered to be one of the defining factors of aquaculture sustainability. Aquaculture operations should source only from sustainable feed ingredients and by-products. They should also ensure more protein comes out of the farm than goes in by ensuring feed is converted into farmed fish efficiently.
Pollution can be reduced with improved monitoring and treatment of wastewater from fish farms. In addition, regulations can improve transparency by requiring fish farmers to report the type and quantity of the chemicals and drugs they use.
Legislation that protects habitat is important, since aquaculture operations often occur near sensitive environments. Such regulations should also restrict the introduction of non-native species, which can impact natural ecosystems when they escape.
Data Quality and Availability
The availability of reliable information on aquaculture operations—such as feed and chemical use, habitat and effluent management, escapes and diseases—is essential to assess fish farming's environmental impact and sustainability. Responsible producers and governments need to collect, analyze and share this data.
What You Can Do
By asking this simple but important question at your grocery store or restaurant, you can help shape the demand for, and ultimately supply of, fish that's been caught or farmed in environmentally responsible ways. Consumers play an important role in supporting ocean health, so start making a difference today!
Over 80 percent of U.S. consumers say that buying sustainable seafood is important and many are willing to pay a premium. Making a commitment to source environmentally responsible seafood is not only an important action to drive positive environmental change—it's also good for business.