Can the growth of aquaculture help restore the health of our ocean?
Our ocean faces unparalleled challenges—as many as 60% of coastal waterways suffer from nutrient pollution; 90% of wild fish stocks are now overfished or fully fished; and we have lost 85% of wild oyster reefs globally. Climate change is now providing added stress to an ocean already under threat.
Aquaculture - the practice of farming food in the water - is expanding rapidly around the world. In fact, it is now the fastest growing form of food production. The way aquaculture has historically developed, however, has contributed to the challenges the ocean is facing today. For example, we have lost 6,000 square kilometers of mangrove forests in past 20 years. In some areas of Asia, aquaculture has been the major driver and has accounted for 30% of the historical total forest change.
One thing is for certain: we need to figure out how to produce healthy and nutritious food for a growing population without degrading our marine ecosystems.
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