The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations say Stirling research has being central to the development of carrying capacity thinking in aquaculture.
Combatting poverty and hunger via sustainable aquaculture
Impact on policy and regulations
Our pioneering work has instrumental in implementing the FAO-UN’s Code of Conduct and the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture. They described our research as being central to the development of carrying capacity thinking in aquaculture.
The research came from an initial approach developed in Mulroy Bay, Ireland, in 2003 which saw a novel computer-based model approach improve the Marine Institute in Ireland’s environment practice for aquaculture.
EU aquaculture, including the UK, produces 1.3 million tonnes of seafood, worth €4.4 billion, providing employment for around 39,000 people. Since 2008 there has been no overall increase in production, in part through poor licensing and regulatory frameworks.
The University of Stirling coordinated the EU H2020 TAPAS collaborative project (2016-2020), which developed guidelines and recommendations based around carrying capacity. These have been incorporated in the Updated Strategic Guidelines for the Sustainable Development of EU Aquaculture, produced by DG MARE, to implement future production strategies in Europe.
Guidelines from a Stirling-coordinated project have been incorporated into the Updated Strategic Guidelines for the Sustainable Development of EU Aquaculture, to implement future production strategies in Europe.
Stirling research has contributed to the economic security of 58,000 Ghanaians working in aquaculture and increasing food security for the equivalent of ftwo million people, an increase of more than 450,000 people since our work in Ghana began.
Supporting sustainable aquaculture expansion in Mexico
In Mexico, aquaculture production fell by 28% between 2000 and 2013, despite the Government’s aims to sustainably increase per capita fish consumption and improve rural health and economic wellbeing. Stirling research on carrying capacity has significantly contributed to reversing this trend.
Dr Antonio Campos Mendoza of the Biotecnología e Innovaciones Acuícolas y Pecuarias de Michoacán (BIAP) attested that the research has led to higher levels of awareness around key issues and tools used to manage sustainable aquaculture.
This increased understanding led to an additional 4,000 tonnes per annum of commercial tilapia production in five lakes, representing 7% of all tilapia production in Mexico. Local income has also been boosted by $9m annually.