REPORT: Low Footprint Seafood in the Coral Triangle | WWF

REPORT: Low Footprint Seafood in the Coral Triangle

Posted on 22 November 2016    
These men harvested about 4 tons of milkfish (chanos chanos) from this pond and fish immediately put to ice and brought to nearby processing plant for deboning and other processes. Alsons Aquaculture. Sarangani, Southern Mindanao, Philippines
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Seafood footprint is a neglected issue that could undermine future development of fisheries and aquaculture. Seafood footprint is a measure of the efficiency of use of aquatic resources by seafood production. Managing seafood footprint is important because the resource use of existing fisheries and aquaculture appear to be at the limit of ocean productivity. Sustainability criteria that include seafood footprint can be used to evaluate seafood production and identify the most resource-efficient products.

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.
These men harvested about 4 tons of milkfish (chanos chanos) from this pond and fish immediately put to ice and brought to nearby processing plant for deboning and other processes. Alsons Aquaculture. Sarangani, Southern Mindanao, Philippines
© Jürgen Freund / WWF Enlarge

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