Aquaculture, Environmental Spillovers and Sustainable Developments: Links and Policy Choices

Although aquaculture has been practised for many centuries, it was in the past on quite a modest scale and limited to a few species e.g. carp. However, in recent decades, aquaculture has shown very rapid expansion. This is partly because catches of wild fish have expanded at a slower rate than demand and many new scientific and technological advances have been made in aquaculture. Furthermore, by the mid-1990s evidence available to scientists indicated that catches of wild fish had either reached, nearly reached or even exceeded their sustainable limits (Williams, 1997). Consequently, according to Meryl Williams (1997, p.18), Director of ICLARM, now “aquaculture is the major, though not sole hope, for improving the world’s fish production”. Aquaculture, particularly marine aquaculture, has become a new economic frontier. Just as humankind in the past experienced the Agricultural Revolution it seems now to be starting on an Aquaculture Revolution. Naturally, this raises the question of how sustainable it will be. The purpose of this article is to discuss the sustainability of aquaculture production. If expanded aquaculture production sets into motion forces that make it unsustainable, economic development based on it will be short lived. One should at least be aware how lack of economic sustainability of aquaculture production can arise, and be prepared to adopt policies to curb or prevent undesired trends in this.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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ISSN: 1327-8231 (Other)
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Economics, Ecology and The Environment Working Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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