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