Working Group on Social and Economic Dimensions of Aquaculture



WGSEDAWGSEDATrueRamon Filgueira, Gesche KrauseASG12/9/2014 12:51:00 PMramon.filgueira@dal.ca, gesche.krause@awi.de787Working Group on Social and Economic Dimensions of Aquaculture

The Working Group on Social and Economic Dimensions of Aquaculture (WGSEDA) addresses the question of how to balance the negative and positive socio-economic consequences of aquaculture development.


WGSEDA places special focus on identifying the social and economic trade-offs of aquaculture. The supply of food (and other products) and provision of direct and indirect employment within ancillary activities such as processing, farm construction, manufacturing or distribution can be substantial. Estimates indicate that, for each person employed in the industry, about three other jobs can be created in secondary activities. Despite these clear benefits, aquaculture also competes for economic, social, physical, and ecological resources and can also result in environmental degradation. Its development may therefore negatively impact other industries and livelihoods (for example agriculture and tourism).

Decisions about aquaculture development are often based on incomplete information, particularly in relation to social and economic dimensions. As a result, inadequate accounts of how trade-offs are associated with different development options are made. This means social and economic benefits may come at the expense of unsustainable pressure on ecosystem goods and services, ultimately jeopardizing food security and livelihoods. Further, these benefits may move away from local communities to stakeholders operating at a global market level.

The search for solutions in the sector to meeting production, income, community development, and food supply and security needs will be critical for ICES countries and their global partners.

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WGSEDA members and colleagues from Thünen-Institute of Baltic Sea fisheries for site visit at Deutsche See Fischmanufaktur in 2023.

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