The Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture

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The Ecosystem Approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. It is implemented internationally through 12 principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN has applied this in the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture, which requires that aquaculture should (i) not harm ecosystem services; (ii) improve human well-being; (iii) be developed in the context of other sectors and policies. Since aquaculture needs also to be economically viable, this leads to the idea of three licences: an economic licence, an environmental licence, and a social licence. Monitoring and managing environmental effects of aquaculture are needed to: prevent 'blow-back' that will damage a farm's profitability; fulfil obligations of environmental licences; and maintain acceptability to society. Finally, monitoring is a crucial part of the adaptive management strategy recommended by the Ecosystem Approach when scientific knowledge is incomplete.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOban
PublisherScottish Association for Marine Science
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2017


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