Sustainability assessment tools to support aquaculture development.

Samuel-Fitwi, Biniam, Wuertz, Sven, Schroeder, Jan P. and Schulz, Carsten (2012) Sustainability assessment tools to support aquaculture development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 32 . pp. 183-192. DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.03.037.

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Aquaculture production has doubled every decade for the past fifty years, representing the fastest growing food sector. This increase reflects the expansion of production areas, increased know-how in husbandry and advances in production technologies, but most importantly it entails increased use of production-inputs that lead to exploitation of natural resources and hence raising concern on environmental distress. In addition, it suggests a similar range of production-outputs apart from the actual target products that are hardly quantified but often are recognized for causing impacts on the environment as well as potential risks for human health. Although several quantitative multi-impact assessment tools have been explored to evaluate environmental impacts of industrial activities, applications in aquaculture have only recently been carried out. However, impact assessment tools applied so far do not reflect the full range of aquaculture activities, and hence incorporate limitations that impair their use in aquaculture environmental assessment. Therefore, the development of tailored environmental assessment tool incorporating impacts distinctive to aquaculture is necessary. By reviewing recent methodologies used in aquaculture, their limitations are identified and future research needs are highlighted. Although large strides have been made in reaching standardized methods for environmental assessment tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA), their use in policy formulation and decision making requires relentless effort to develop the tools using fundamental problems known to aquaculture. As a prerequisite, the most significant impacts of aquaculture are identified but need to be characterized and integrated in aquacultural assessment tool. Furthermore, social aspects of sustainability should be considered; and linkage of operational efficiency with environmental performance can support in optimizing the allocation of resources while minimizing impacts.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Sustainability, Aquaculture, Assessment, Environment, Life cycle assessment, Ecological footprint
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R04
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.03.037
ISSN: 0959-6526
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 14 May 2014 09:38
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:26

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