Chelsea is proud to be involved in an innovative project that aims to help the global aquaculture industry meet sustainable development goals and push the envelope on ‘Aquaculture 4.0’. With a rapidly growing global population, with an even greater appetite for fish and shellfish, the pressure is on to act…
Protein demand for a growing population
How can humans feed a growing population sustainably?
The world’s population is predicted to rise from around 7.7 billion, to 9.7 billion by 2050. Securing sustainable global food security for the future is now a critical issue.
Edible Fish and Shellfish is a key staple for a large proportion of the global population. However, as populations rise, the abundance of natural fish stocks begins to degrade to unsustainable levels.
Not only is the global human population rising, but so is per capita fish consumption. In fact, consumption of fish is outpacing population growth by around 50%. As a result, the aquaculture industry is growing rapidly to meet demand.
Sustainable Development Goals
The sustainable expansion of aquaculture (and the protein it produces), is important. In 2015, the UN announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are a global call to action. They set ambitions to end poverty; protect the planet; and chart a course to peace and prosperity by 2030.
The key goals for aquaculture are SDGs 2, 9, 12, 14 & 17. These goals aim to:
- End hunger;
- Improve industry, innovation and infrastructure;
- Foster responsible consumption & production;
- Protect and restore life below water, and;
- Create meaningful partnerships between nations.
How can water quality monitoring contribute to sustainable development?
Poor water quality can impact the environment and put a strain on production systems. This is sometimes overlooked as a factor in the production of fish and shellfish. Poor water quality can impact on fish welfare, and lead to reduced growth. Poor water quality can also increase bacteria and algal growth, exacerbating the problem further.
Monitoring water quality can provide several benefits. It helps site operators maintain optimal conditions for fish growth, increasing productivity. It also helps predict harmful algal blooms (HABs) and bacterial growth. This helps reduce disease; resulting in fewer mortalities, improved growth, and a higher quality product.
Monitoring water quality can also help to improve resource utilisation and reduce waste. Monitoring feed and waste levels enables automatic adjustments to feed and water recirculation. This not only reduces food wastage but improves energy efficiency.
Tracking water quality in open or closed systems, enables site operators to manage environmental impacts and protect neighbouring ecosystems.
‘Advancing Digital Precision Aquaculture in China’ (ADPAC), is a UK-China collaboration, made possible by the Newton Fund.
The project brings together industry and academia from both countries. The core aim is to advance Chinese aquaculture towards ‘Aquaculture 4.0’.
The project will develop a network of wireless sensor packs that track water quality. Using state-of-the-art sensors, ‘5G IoT’ connectivity, and big data analytics, the system will enable real-time decision making.
The project aims to address key sustainable development goals and improve productivity. By harnessing digital technology and connecting sites through IoT, ADPAC can reduce consumption, and represents an innovative example of collaboration between the UK and China.