Thursday, December 14, 2017

15/12/2017: Part one: Getting radical with aquacultural technology

by Cliff Spencer, Chairman, AwF

In my transition from an agricultural to an aquacultural role and perspective, certain differences between the two husbandry practices have become increasingly clear to me

Unlike agriculture, which certainly does a reasonable job of moving with the times, aquaculture on a global basis could do much, much better than its current efforts. That I would hasten to say is not to decry the excellent and often groundbreaking work of many aquacultural corporations, places of further and higher learning, research establishments and individual fish farmers. However much more can and should be done.

In that respect AwF will be doing its bit to ensure the taking up of many technologies that are safe, proven and well understood but yet seemingly not considered as worthy of promotion, certainly to the general public as their equivalent agricultural ones.

For this reason amongst others, AwF is co-owner of the establishing National Aquaculture Centre in the UK and fully involved in the partnership with Hull University, and its well-known and highly regarded Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies and its Hull International Fisheries Institute.

By way of example, the use of mobile telecommunications to rapidly transfer data in the pursuit of analysing and overcoming aquacultural challenges and the use of genomics. In marine as opposed to land production these are two areas where much, much more should and could be achieved in aquaculture practice. This knowledge and these systems and technologies exist, but need putting into practice much more to gain this benefit for all producers and consumers of aquacultural output.

We will gain greater sustainability of production and food safety through for instance the more effective control of disease, through these technologies to name but a single aspect of an industry that is lagging behind compared to its agricultural counterpart. I was studying this in agriculture at university in 1971 and saw it strongly adapted into pig production.

The technology is already available to produce any aquacultural product in any country of the world, yet only a small percentage of what is both possible and needed in the world of aquaculture is taking place. Indeed if the aquaculture world is studied then (with some notable exceptions) this is particularly true, and yet the West is an area of the world that is importing aquacultural production (or more accurately exporting its production) at a completely unsustainable and macro-economically undesirable rate.

Read the full article, HERE.

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