According to William A. Wurts from the Kentucky State University, Cooperative Extension Program, Sustainable Aquaculture in the Twenty-First Century (a .pdf download – Reviews in Fisheries Science, 8(2): 141-150 (2000)) people have approached sustainability from three perspectives: environmental, economic, and sociological. Wurts notes in the abstract:
Ultimately, sustainability may be the aquaculture industry’s ability to adapt on a planet with an ever increasing human population which continues to consume its limited supply of non-renewable resources at an alarming rate.
Although ever increasing costs of resources such as oil and water continue to apply pressure to the development of sustainable models across all spectra of human endeavor, the discussion around sustainable aquaculture is not exactly new. Sustainable Aquaculture Development and the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries was presented by William D. Dar to the FAO, Rome in March 1999.
Sustainability is also not just a concern of aquaculture – the broader concerns of ocean governance has also been considered by George Pararas-Carayannis in Ocean Governance and Sustainability – Present Trends – Future Challenges. From the abstract:
The ability of marine ecosystems to produce the economic and ecological goods and services that are desired and needed, have been substantially reduced. In some instances there has been a significant decline of ocean wildlife and even collapses of ocean ecosystems. It is clearly evident that what we once considered to be inexhaustible and resilient is, in fact, finite and fragile.
Patrick Sorgeloos offers comment regarding Technologies for Sustainable Aquaculture Development. From the introduction:
Risks of major environmental and human-health problems need to be weighed against achieving a more cautious rise in production that is, in the longer term, sustainable. We should all see this not only as a challenge to do it well and responsibly, but also as a commercial opportunity for the industry.
Aquaculture is clearly at a crossroads and can come, in fact, should come of age in the twenty-first century. However, this will require more responsible researchers and more integrated R&D approaches than we apply at present.
Denis Bailly and Rolf Willmann have provided research findings entitled Promoting Sustainable Aquaculture through Economic and other Incentives. From the abstract:
Economic incentives have been widely applied to encourage growth in aquaculture production, especially in the “infant” phase of development where risks are often high and scale economies cannot yet be realized. In recent years, increasing attention has been given to incentives that encourage the use of environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner. This growing interest is not least due to the frequently disappointing performance of command and control measures. Different kinds of incentives can be developed in isolation or in combination, including tradable use/access rights, taxes/subsidies, codes of conduct, eco-labelling and others. While practical experiences are still very limited in aquaculture, these measures have proven effective in other sectors to induce producers to adopt better and more environmentally friendly production practices.