Home > Blue Frontiers : Managing the environmental costs of aquaculture

Blue Frontiers : Managing the environmental costs of aquaculture

Stephen J. Hall, Anne Delaporte, Michael Phillips, Malcolm Beveridge and Mark O’Keefe
June 2011


A new and comprehensive analysis released by WorldFish and Conservation International (CI) has investigated the environmental impact of the world’s major aquaculture production systems and species, and offers a first-ever global assessment of trends and impacts of cultivated seafood. The report,  “Blue Frontiers: Managing the environmental effects of aquaculture”, along with a companion policy recommendations paper, is being released in Bangkok, Thailand at the ASEAN SEAFDEC Conference on “Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security Towards 2020”.  It concludes that the demand for aquaculture products will continue to grow over the next two decades as a key source of animal protein for growing urban populations, and that the industry needs to meet this demand with improved efficiencies and reduced environmental impacts.

Cover This global review is a comprehensive analysis of global aquaculture production across all major species and farm production systems. The report aims to inform policy makers about the impacts of aquaculture on the environment and to stimulate debate on the optimal animal food production systems for tomorrow.


Stephen Hall
Email: s.hall@cgiar.org

Hard copies of the report are available at no extra charge (except shipping and handling) in WorldFish’s print publications catalogue. Click here to order.

Full Text
Format : PDF
Pages : 94
Size : 6.2Mb
Policy Brief
Format : PDF
Pages : 12
Size : 0.6Mb
Format : PDF
Pages : 4
Size : 0.6Mb
ASEAN Policy Brief
Format : PDF
Pages : 4
Size : 0.4Mb

Other Resources
Press Release
Key Messages (English) (Chinese)
Fact Sheet (English) (Chinese)
Images, Figures & Tables
Licensed under Creative Commons (more info)

Understanding and quantifying the environmental impacts of aquaculture is essential for sound decision making. Using information about environmental impact, policy-makers can establish evidence-based and fair environmental regulations. Fish farmers can understand and comply with environmental regulations while implementing good management practices. Development and environmental organizations need it to guide their strategies and actions while retailers and consumers need it to make informed choices and drive appropriate policy and farming practices.

BLUE FRONTIERS: Managing the environmental costs of aquaculture is a new publication from WorldFish and Conservation International. The report analyzes how the global aquaculture industry uses natural resources and its impacts on the environment. It makes a broad-brush comparison of aquaculture with other animal food production systems and extrapolates from past history to look forward and identify potential future impacts. The report also proposes important recommendations for policy makers and scientists engaged in debate on the future of food production and nutrition security.


In the very near future...
BLUE FRONTIERS: Managing the environmental costs of  aquaculture provides a global picture of aquaculture production. In the very near future the authors of the report will share on this site the datasets for the 75 unique production elements modeled in the study. You will have the opportunity to explore data by species group, country, production system or habitat. Each datasheet is further divided into data obtained on intensity of production, environmental services, fertilizer use, feed use and emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus.

As accurate data on aquaculture in developing countries are still lacking, our aim is to foster dialogue between researchers, scientists, policy makers, private operators and others through this open ‘platform’. It is a chance for all to submit comments and revised data and improve our common knowledge on the environmental cost of aquaculture, helping improve our life cycle analysis of aquaculture commodities in the future, and developing better aquaculture management strategies.

WorldFish is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture. WorldFish is one of 15 members of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers supported by the CGIAR. The CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for sustainable development with the funders of this work. The funders include developing and industrialized country governments, foundations, and international and regional organizations. WorldFish is committed to meeting two key development challenges: 1) improving the livelihoods of those who are especially poor and vulnerable in places where fisheries and aquaculture can make a difference and 2) achieving large scale, environmentally sustainable increases in supply and access to fish at affordable prices for poor consumers in developing countries.

Conservation International - Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI has headquarters in the Washington, DC area, and nearly 900 employees working in more than 30 countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world. For more information, visit www.conservation.org, and follow us on Twitter: @ConservationOrg