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Marine scientist Barry Costa-Pierce edits new book on 'Sustainable Food Production'

April 03, 2013

Population growth in the coming decades will put severe pressure on human food, animal feed, and fiber production from both land and ocean ecosystems.

Environmental sustainability and social justice are increasingly important elements in debates on how to ensure adequate food for a growing global population.

Barry Costa-Pierce, Ph.D., University of New England Doherty Professor and director of the UNE Marine Science Center, served as one of five editors of a new three-volume book on Sustainable Food Production, which examines state-of-the-art scientific advances, and places them in their proper scientific, environmental, ethical, socio-economic, and political contexts.

The new book gathers approximately 90 peer-reviewed entries from the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, Sustainable Food Production (Springer 2012), for which Costa-Pierce was an editor and contributor.

It examines future directions for a more productive and sustainable agriculture, from molecular approaches to crop physiology and agronomy; describes state-of-the-art applications of transgenic livestock and birds; and addresses the grand challenge of sustainable marine aquaculture science and technology as a means of sustainable food production while helping to restore global capture fisheries. It also contains statistical tools used for modern animal breeding, as well as results of breeding for a wide variety of species and environments.

"By 2050 global food production will need to rise by 70 percent as the world's population is expected to reach 9 billion people," Costa-Pierce explains. "There are severe resource limits to expanding terrestrial food production; humanity would face a terrible conservation crisis. Less than 1 percent of human foods come from the ocean. This book describes innovative, social-ecological approaches needed to develop new ocean food production systems that merge capture fisheries and aquaculture technologies and new approaches to their management that can accelerate seafood production while protecting marine ecosystems and enhancing humanity’s responsibility to better steward our ocean planet."

The book, which is 1,865 pages with 375 illustrations, has been published by Springer, New York. Co-editors with Costa-Pierce are P. Christou and R. Savin of the University of Lleida, Spain; I. Misztal of the University of Georgia, and B. Whitelaw of the University of Edinburgh, U.K.

Barry Costa-Pierce

Costa-Pierce, who is also chair of the UNE Department of Marine Sciences, has authored over 150 publications, including 25 peer-reviewed books and monographs in aquaculture, fisheries, aquatic ecosystems, and sustainability science.

He is the 2013 Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Global Aquaculture in the Latin American Fisheries Fellowship Program of the Bren School at the University of California Santa Barbara. For the past 13 years he has been an international editor of Aquaculture, the top science journal in the field. He is a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists.

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