This is a very complex topic to discuss. No specific definition of this has been found to date. Fish farming is also referred to as aquaculture. Worldwide aquaculture has become one of the most well-known businesses. But this is observed in the past few years that the heavy use of chemicals and pesticides is not only affecting humans but also is affecting the environment. That is the reason they need for sustainable farming came into practice. Sustainable agriculture is a type of agriculture that produces more crops and livestock, by least affecting the environment. It also focuses on maintaining environmental stability, by using the latest and scientific ways of farming.
Benefits of sustainable fish farming
- Sustainable fish farming has a positive effect on the environment as well as human beings.
- It secures species and their habitat.
- It results in the tremendous recovery of fish stocks and their habitat.
- A healthy environment for fish is very crucial for its growth.
- This all-over maintains the health and biocapacity of the environment.
Sustainable fishing factors:
- The water that is used for farming, plays a very important role in this. Whether the area is big enough for the fish to move around or not, whether the water is clean regularly or not, everything falls under maintaining sustainability.
- Ways should be found to reduce the waste of fish, by using as many parts of the fish in a more creative way, than to normally throw them away. For instance, fish oil can be used as biodiesel fuel. Fish skin helps in the production of gelatin, which is used in many pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
- Some fish farmers are moving to land-based aquaculture production, where there are a low supply and high demand for fish. Predominantly in the urban areas.
- Some fishermen are taking it to open seawater. This is because this provides more space for the habitats to move. And as this is open and clean and has a steady current flow, this yields healthier and more results than usual.
- Overall, there is a long-term goal behind practicing sustainable farming. It takes a collective effort to practice sustainable fishing. Fishermen who practice sustainable farming should share the knowledge with his fellow fishermen, to promote the practice of sustainable farming.
Top 5 strategies for sustainable aquaculture growth:
A report by the World Resource Institute recommends five approaches to help get aquaculture growth right:
- Invest in technological innovation and transfer: Improvements in areas like- breeding technology, disease control, feeds, and nutrition. Introduction to science can complement traditional knowledge to improve efficiency. For example, in Vietnam, a breakthrough in catfish breeding around the year 2000—complemented by the widespread adoption of high-quality pelleted feed—unlocked a boom in production growth and intensification. Vietnamese catfish production grew from 50,000 tons in 2000 to more than 1 million tons in 2010, even though the country’s total catfish pond area only doubled during that time.
- Focus beyond the farm: Do not focus on any individual farm level. Have multiple producers in the same area to result in cumulative environmental impacts- such as water pollution, fish disease, etc. Operations such as spatial planning and zoning make sure that the impact of aquaculture on the environment is not negative. Norway’s zoning laws, for example, ensure that salmon producers are not overly concentrated in one area, reducing disease risk and helping mitigate environmental impacts.
- Shift incentives to reward sustainability: Variety in private and public policies gives farmers more encouragement to participate in sustainable farming. For example, Thailand’s government has provided shrimp farmers operating legally in aquaculture zones with access to free training, water supply, and wastewater treatment.
- Leverage the latest information technology: Advancement in satellite, mapping devices, ecological modelling, etc means a global level monitoring of the practice of sustainable aquaculture.
- Eat fish that are low on the food chain: This practice is mainly for the consumers. Consumers should consume fish that are low in the food chain, that is, fish don’t need a large amount of wild fish in their diet. These are basically low-tropic fish, such as catfish, carp, tilapia, etc.
The appetite for fish in the world market is steadily increasing. Because fish consists of one-sixth of the animal protein people consume globally. Current researches show that aquaculture production will need to get doubled within 2050, in order to cope up with the growing population.