Freshwater consumption and pollution in aquafeed production
Freshwater consumption and pollution in aquafeed production: an important aspect of sustainable aquaculture growth
Challenges for the aquaculture sector
Over the years the fishing industry has undergone dramatic changes, as the production of fish and shellfish for human consumption increasingly originates from aquaculture. With the increasing importance of aquaculture in feeding the growing world population the requirement of natural resources for producing aquafeed ingredients is intensifying.
There is a growing interest in the potential to replace fish meal and fish oil with terrestrial feed ingredients. It is important to understand both the positive and negative implications of this development with regard to its claim on natural resources. While the use of feed with a large proportion of terrestrial feed may reduce the pressure on fisheries to provide feed for fish in the form of fish meal and fish oil, it may significantly increase the pressure on freshwater resources due to water consumption and pollution in crop production for aquafeed. Furthermore, the competition with feed for humans and livestock, as well as with plant material for biofuels is aggravated.