Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Certification of aquaculture: one of the strategies to sustainable seafood production

Date:
September 5, 2013
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
Certification of products from aquatic farming - aquaculture – is contributing to sustainable production, but it also has serious limits. Therefore it should be seen as one approach among many for steering aquaculture toward sustainability, experts say.

Certification of products from aquatic farming -- aquaculture -- is contributing to sustainable production, but it also has serious limits. Therefore it should be seen as one approach among many for steering aquaculture toward sustainability.

This is argued by an international team of researchers in a paper published in Science on September 6th.

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing global food production systems, and now contributes around 13% of world animal-protein supply. It provides almost half of the world's supply of seafood. The rapid expansion of the sector has come with a wide range of concerns about the environmental and social impact of aquaculture. In response, NGO-led certification schemes, such as the Dutch based Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), have developed standards against which the environmental and social performance of aquaculture can be measured.

Based on the work of an international network of researchers, the paper argues that aquaculture certification has limits as a means of governing sustainable production. Aquaculture certification is limited in the volume of global production it can certify, given market demand for certified seafood is currently limited to the US and EU while the majority of seafood consumption occurs in other markets. The impact of certification is also limited in reaching wider sustainability goals, it is focused on the farm-level instead of the cumulative impacts of multiple farms in one location on the surrounding environment or farming communities. Furthermore it is limited in its ability to include stakeholders, particularly smallholder producers, in the Global South where the vast majority of global production comes from.

The implication of these limits is that certification needs to be seen as but one of a wider array of strategies for regulating sustainable production. Assumptions that countries in the Global South are unwilling or incapable to regulate aquaculture no longer holds true everywhere. Many of these countries have experience with international food safety regulation and represent some of the most important domestic markets for aquaculture products globally. Certification should therefore be seen as part of a broader array of governance approaches for promoting sustainable aquaculture production. Global certification also needs to better complement national level sustainability programmes. Further research is needed to determine what kind of hybrid forms of environmental governance can be developed that move beyond an overemphasis on certification, and instead draw on the strength of states, the private sector and institutions such as the ASC.

Certification volume

Only a 4.6% of the global aquaculture production is currently certified. The 13 main species currently covered by the ASC currently account for 41.6% of the worldwide aquaculture production, leaving 58.4% of aquaculture production with no opportunity for certification. The recent introduction of two additional certification labels for multispecies standards has expanded the potentially certifiable volume to 73.5%. In practice, however, the new standards will only lead to an increase of 0.1% in certified volume because much of what is potentially certifiable is produced in countries like China with little demand for sustainability certification.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. R. Bush, B. Belton, D. Hall, P. Vandergeest, F. J. Murray, S. Ponte, P. Oosterveer, M. S. Islam, A. P. J. Mol, M. Hatanaka, F. Kruijssen, T. T. T. Ha, D. C. Little, R. Kusumawati. Certify Sustainable Aquaculture? Science, 2013; 341 (6150): 1067 DOI: 10.1126/science.1237314

Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Certification of aquaculture: one of the strategies to sustainable seafood production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905142719.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2013, September 5). Certification of aquaculture: one of the strategies to sustainable seafood production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905142719.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Certification of aquaculture: one of the strategies to sustainable seafood production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905142719.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins