Sustainable seafood and aquaculture
The global human population is projected to be more than 10 billion people by 2050. That is a lot of mouths to feed. And yet, while the oceans cover more than 70% of our planet, only 2% of food production (including all fisheries and ocean farms) comes from the sea. In the future there will be by necessity, increased pressure on global oceans to produce food. Much of this will come from ocean-farms producing not only fish, but shellfish, seaweeds, and other marine foods. Researchers in our Marine programs study the entire suite of issues pertaining to seafood and aquaculture.
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems and aquaponics
More than 50% of all seafood consumed on the planet already comes from aquaculture, but not all aquaculture happens in the ocean. More and more aquaculture activities, especially those involving finfish, are moving to land in what are called “Recirculating Aquaculture Systems” or RAS. These are fully contained systems that use high tech innovations in filtration and water quality monitoring to grow fish in an entirely enclosed system. This is a cutting edge space in fish production and a space wide open for innovative research at UNE.
Fisheries management and science
Fisheries science and management are both distinct disciplines that are highly interwoven. Fisheries science creates the knowledge and data used in order for fisheries management to make the best possible policies to manage a fishery. The policies and the priorities set forth by management then in turn creates the framework for fisheries science to design and conduct research. At UNE, we have researchers with expertise on both sides of this important coin.
Globally, the salt water ornamental fish and aquarium industry is valued at $15 billion, resulting in the importation of more than 400 fish species. And yet, only 10% of these fish are cultured. Ornamental aquaculture is the application of aquaculture techniques and protocols to produce fish and other organisms used for decorative purposes. This practice can help greatly reduce pressure on wild fish populations and increase the sustainability of a hobby growing rapidly as global scale.