Sustainable aquaculture - cultivation of fish, shellfish, mussels, oysters and algae
The total consumption and production of wild-caught fish and shellfish is increasing globally, as is the percentage of farmed fish, which currently accounts for 47% of total production. However, if we are to meet future food needs, we need to farm even more in order to ease the burden on hard-pressed lakes and seas.
Over the years, considerable attention has been focused on the negative environmental impact of aquaculture, such as the use of wild fish to feed farmed fish, eutrophication, antibiotic resistance, disease and parasites. It is therefore vital to transition aquaculture to be more ecologically, socially, economically and ethically sustainable with:
- minimised environmental impact, sustainable feed and circular systems;
- new jobs (in rural areas, for example) and greater acceptance of the industry;
- increased profitability, reduced consumption of aquaculture products; and
- good animal husbandry.
What makes aquaculture a sustainable business?
The amount of food that can be produced by aquaculture per unit of surface area is potentially very large. New cultivation techniques based on circular thinking create sustainability by utilising residual products and residual thermal energy, using sustainable feed and practising good water management. Fish also have an excellent ability to convert feed into muscle.
Aquaculture in Gotland
To strengthen commerce on Gotland, Tillväxtverket, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, has funded a number of investments through the Sustainable Gotland programme, including in aquaculture. During 2018, a feasibility study was conducted by the County Administrative Board of Gotland to provide a knowledge base for continued investment in the region. As part of this work, in 2019 Region Gotland financed a demonstration and training facility for the cocultivation of plants and fish at the Ar Research Station.
Aquaculture at Ar Research Station
In 2019, an aquaponics demonstration facility was installed at the Ar Research Station.
Thanks to this facility, Blue Centre Gotland has been able to arrange courses in aquaculture.
The facility attracted a great many visitors and was part of the project Aquaculture at Ar.
Ongoing aquaculture projects on Gotland
A number of stakeholders are currently conducting aquaculture on Gotland. Several of these have received funding through Leader Gute, a non-profit association for local development within the EU. The association is tasked with strengthening and developing aquaculture on Gotland through collaboration, skills development and exchanges of experience until June 2022.
The company Hamra Fisk has been funded through Leader Gute. This video was part of the Baltic Sea Days 2021.
This is where we compile courses for anyone interested in aquaculture.
Sustainable aquaculture, 15 credits
SLU, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, is offering a distance course in english.
Sustainable aquaculture HV0200
Aquaculture is one focus area within the framework of Blue Centre Gotland. If you have any questions about the project, please contact Andreas Pettersson, Gotland County Administrative Board, email@example.com