REPORT: Low Footprint Seafood in the Coral Triangle
Future development of fisheries and aquaculture in the Coral Triangle should include an emphasis on limiting the seafood footprint. To achieve this goal, tools that evaluate seafood footprint are needed. The trophic level of seafood species can be used to calculate primary production required for seafood production, which is a measure of seafood footprint and the largest contributor to ecological footprint. Broader measures of sustainability that evaluate other impacts that arise during seafood production can complement the seafood footprint and provide practical guidance to improving the sustainability of seafood.
Improving the sustainability of seafood production is essential in securing future seafood supplies. One aspect of seafood sustainability that is receiving increasing attention is the efficiency of use of primary production in producing seafood. Seafood footprint is a helpful tool that evaluates the efficiency of use of primary production in producing seafood. Expanded use of this tool in sustainability assessments will be helpful in ensuring human use of ocean ecosystems remains within sustainable limits.
WWF has recently developed a Foundational Measures approach comprising a set of specific, quantitative indicators that can be used to evaluate sustainability of all farmed species and can have specific application to low footprint aquaculture. The Foundational Measures address seafood footprint and also other ecosystem impacts of aquaculture, and they’re designed for use in the developing countries where monitoring data are often sparse and market incentives for assessment and certification are weak.