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Webinar: Avoiding the Ecological Limits of Forage Fish for Fed Aquaculture

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Wednesday, 26 September 2018, 12:00

Wednesday, September 26, 2018. 12:00PM. Webinar: Avoiding the Ecological Limits of Forage Fish for Fed Aquaculture. Halley E. Froehlich, University of California, Santa Barbara. Sponsored by NOAA. More information here.

Aquaculture is supporting demand and surpassing wild-caught seafood. Yet, most fed aquaculture species (finfish and crustacea) rely on wild-captured forage fish for essential fatty acids and micronutrients, an important but limited resource. As the fastest growing food sector in the world, fed aquaculture demand will eventually surpass ecological supply of forage fish, but when and how best to avoid this ecological boundary is unclear. Using global production data, feed use trends, and human consumption patterns we show how combined actions of fisheries reform, reduced feed use by non-carnivorous aquaculture and agricultural species, and greater consistent inclusion of fish byproducts in China-based production can circumvent forage fish limits by mid-century. However, we also demonstrate the efficacy of such actions are diminished if global diets shift to more seafood (i.e., pescetarian diets) and are further constrained by possible ecosystem-based fisheries regulations in the future. Long-term, nutrient-equivalent alternative feed sources are essential for more rapid and certain aquaculture sustainability.

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