ICES Annual Science Conference 2015

Theme Session K

Sustainable approaches to aquaculture in the context of environmental change

Carrie J. Byron (USA)
Gesche Krause (Germany)

​Contact conveners​

Coastal communities and ecosystems face challenges that threaten long-standing economic and cultural traditions. With a projected global human population in excess of nine billion by 2050, coastal communities also have opportunities to address the grand challenges of informing human sustainability and optimizing the use of vital coastal resources. The growth needed in coastal aquaculture to meet the global demand for marine proteins (food, feed, ingredients, etc) has the potential to put additional pressure on natural resources. Sustainable approaches to aquaculture that holistically consider both social and ecological components of systems are essential for meeting the challenges of improving the way in which coastal zone resources are utilized.

In developing sustainable approaches to aquaculture, there are points that must be considered: stakeholders' perceptions of and public preferences for aquaculture development and operations and methods to investigate these; the characteristics of the social acceptability of aquaculture in different settings and among various groups; ways to better integrate social and economic dimensions in aquaculture management. New tools that improve understanding of complex ecological processes and the socioeconomic drivers shaping human-environment interactions will help inform ongoing management and policy discussions about sustainable coastal aquaculture development.


We welcome contributions that address the following types of questions:

  • How can a sustainability science approach enable us to understand the complex interactions of coastal Social-Ecological Systems (SES) and knowledge systems within the context of sustainable ecological aquaculture?
  • What are the theoretical frameworks and models that incorporate linkages and feedback processes to predict the potential impact of sustainable ecological aquaculture within the coastal zone in terms of environmental changes and changes in human activities?
  • How do place-based factors influence the SES carrying capacities of emerging sustainable ecological aquaculture?
  • What are the societal factors, such as community vulnerability, resilience, and thresholds that determine social acceptability and public preferences with respect to farm development and operations and adoption of sustainable ecological aquaculture?
  • Can sustainable ecological aquaculture reduce waste and promote sustainable feedback loops between capture fisheries and SES?
  • Can sustainable ecological aquaculture innovations in community-based aquaculture promote carrying capacity and increase SES sustainability and resilience?
  • How do detritus, phytoplankton production, resuspension, and freshwater inputs influence sustainable ecological aquaculture intensification?
  • Identification and assessment of both environmental and socio-economic impacts of aquaculture, ranging from small-scale to industrial aquaculture
  • Integration of context-specific social framing conditions into aquaculture planning and policy review, including the difference between official and private aquaculture development processes
  • The role of formal and informal governance institutions in identifying and handling socio-economic effects of aquaculture, including the role of certification 
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Theme Session K

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