This paper argues that Australia is experiencing rapid development in aquaculture and has the potential to lead in producing future feed alternatives and systems management.
Forecasts indicate the global demand for fish production will continue to increase over the next decade, driven predominately by rising populations and urbanisation in developing states. Considered the fastest developing food-producing sector in the world, aquaculture is recognised as a possible sustainable solution for food security and increased dietary nutrition in developing regions. There are a number of limitations which, if not addressed, could impede the successful expansion of aquaculture and global fisheries at large. These include: environmental degradation and reduced water quality, disease, increased fish feed extraction from the world’s oceans, and a lack of governance and regulation in production. At the same time, if aquaculture does not develop quickly enough global price rises can be expected, reducing access to fish for consumption and leaving less developed countries vulnerable to these changes.
- Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world, contributing one-third of global food fish production.
- The nutritional benefits of fish consumption have a positive link to increased food security and decreased poverty rates in developing states.
- Wild fish extraction for fish feed has threatened ocean stocks and created conflict with the demand for fish for human consumption.
- Future industry development is limited by restrictive government policies and a lack of access to markets for small-farm holders.
- Australia is experiencing rapid development in aquaculture and has the potential to lead in producing future feed alternatives and systems management.