TRANSCRIPT - Dr. Jason Clay
Jason Clay is the Senior Fellow at World Wildlife Fund.
Leaders in the aquaculture industry within the US say that it's
now well known that mangroves habitats are not good sites for locating
shrimp ponds and that the problem of mangrove displacement is largely
in the past. But according to an aerial survey just conducted by
Wetlands International in Thailand, the displacement of mangroves
there is an ongoing and serious problem. What is the real situation?
We don't know.
We really don't know what the situation of mangroves is with aquaculture.
I think the destruction of mangroves in some areas is clearly still
going on. I think that a lot people advising the industry know that
it shouldn't go on, that it's not financially viable in the long-term,
but people on either side of the issue haven't been doing the kind
of research to say definitively that it's stopped.
I think the last time they did the survey was about 5 years ago
and there were about 10,000 more ponds in obvious mangrove areas.
I think the
place I would look is in Esmeraldas in Ecuador. I know there's active
clearing going on there now. And I think that those are the places
that you'd want to bring to the industry's attention to see if they
really are committed to stopping it.
According to a recent article in the World Watch magazine, the World
Wildlife Fund reported that 150,000 hectares of shrimp ponds have
been abandoned between 1985 and 1995. Can you comment on this?
It's a statistic
that was probably taken from a report that I wrote, and that report
is basically trying to pull together all the information that's
been in the press, in journals, in the literature, and to bring
it all together into one place and just show what different people
are saying about it. I think they cite World Wildlife Fund as the
author of that, but the research was done by other people.
I don't know
that all the information in the report is right, but I think that
there's been an awful lot of pond abandonment, or at the very least
ponds that are now used for things like tilapia in Ecuador or bloodworm
in China, instead of shrimp. There's a lot more fallowing that's
going on now with the ponds that are left for 2 or 3 years and trying
to bring them back later.
Again, we don't
know how many ponds have been abandoned. We don't know what the
average life of a productive pond is, what is a semi-intensive system
and an intensive system. All these are good questions. We need the
answers in order to have any kind of sustainable industry in the
How are we going to find out?
I think we've
got to invest more in GIS, in doing the interpretation of photos
over time, but I think the real way you find out is because people
know it's important. People who are concerned about making the industry
more sustainable - it should be the industry, the NGOs; it should
be everybody. It's in nobody's interest to have the ponds abandoned.
That means putting them in the right place to start out with so
that they last longer.
Is abandonment of ponds indeed a problem?
When you build
a shrimp pond, you invest anywhere from 10 to 50,000 dollars per
hectare on just the construction of the pond and the infrastructure
that goes around that. And even small farmers may not spend quite
that much money but they have to invest a lot of their own labor,
which they don't pay themselves for, so it's a huge investment.
It's really in everybody's interest to make sure that investment
lasts as long as possible.
what's happened if these ponds are abandoned (and we know that a
number of them are) then they just move someplace else and build
another pond. They don't tend to restore the first pond back to
wetlands, back to agricultural land, back to whatever it was before;
they just abandon it. And so I think stopping that is the real important
issue for all of us to address.
What is the average lifespan for shrimp ponds?
indication that the more intensive the pond, the less the average
lifespan, and that the most intensive ponds are probably 5, 7 years.
The ponds that are more intensive, and that's where they put more
shrimp in per square meter and give them more food and more inputs,
those systems tend to not last as long because there's too many
moving parts and there's too many ways for them to go wrong.
that have stocking densities that are very low per meter tend to
be the ones that would last longer. Because they don't have as much
stress in the ponds, the animals aren't diseased as quickly, or
diseases don't spread as fast, they don't use feed in many of the
extensive systems. Vietnam has just been wiped out this year in
two of its major growing areas with diseases, and that's an extensive
How would you compare the long-term value of a healthy mangrove
ecosystem as opposed to the economic arguments of using the same
resource for shrimp aquaculture?
The value of
a mangrove is a highly speculative kind of thing. There are a lot
of subsistence goods that are put in it. Some of the data from the
Philippines show that families will get as much as $1000 worth of
construction material, food, fuel wood, different things like that
for household use, in addition to things they sell off on. The average
values that academics have come up with range from about $1000 per
hectare for mangroves to maybe $11,000 per hectare.
is about what an intensive shrimp operation would generate per year.
But the intensive shrimp operation doesn't have a time frame that
goes into decades and generations and so there's that problem. Moving
shrimp ponds behind mangroves might actually be a way to have your
cake and eat it too, in the sense that you can have production,
maybe not intensive but semi-intensive at least.
We know, for
example, that nitrogen and phosphorous coming out of a shrimp pond
would actually increase growth in mangroves, which would allow you
to cut more wood for construction and fuel wood and all kinds of
things; would allow more growth of algae which would feed more fish.
So you could potentially make mangroves more productive and produce
is the trick, because if you produce too many wastes and too many
effluents, then you're going to kill the mangrove. And that's why
zoning and citing is so important.
good evidence that probably 90% of environmental problems that arise
from shrimp aquaculture have to do with where you build the pond.
And if you get it built in the right place then you can avoid an
awful lot of mistakes. But it's not just where you build one pond,
it's particularly where you build the 100th pond or the 1000th pond.
In most cases one pond built almost anywhere could be sustainable.
It's when you start getting the cumulative effect of many ponds
in the same ecosystem that they start having problems.
According to some NGOs, it is difficult and often prohibitively
expensive to replant mangroves in abandoned shrimp ponds. What is
There are various
schools of thought about restoration of mangroves. One is that if
they are indeed built in tidal areas the most important thing to
do is to breach the embankments. And as long as you allow water
to flow in and out, then you could actually even just disperse seeds
on the water and they will take root and grow.
And there are
people who do mangrove restoration ecology in Florida who think
that planting mangroves is really kind of a waste of time. It would
be very expensive to plant mangroves. I'm not sure that planting
mangroves is actually necessary.
If shrimp operations
are moved above the tidal line and moved out of mangroves, then
that isn't going to be such a big issue. And the real issue for
restoration is going to be how you take the salinity out of the
soil so you can use it for something like agriculture or whatever
if it becomes abandoned, or for some other form of aquaculture,
or even enter into some kind of a fallow production system where
you have, like in China now they have 3 years of shrimp production
and 7 years of other kinds of aquaculture, as a way to deal with
diseases and other issues.
That's like crop rotation?
Yeah, it's amazing.
We've been doing agriculture for thousands of years and we finally
learned a lot of things about agriculture, like crop rotations and
terracing and all kinds of things, and we haven't really taken those
lessons and applied them to aquaculture yet, which is too bad because
I think we could avoid an awful lot of mistakes doing that.
But I heard about rotating between rice and shrimp?
There's a traditional
system in Bangladesh where half of the year, in the wet season,
is devoted to rice when there's fresh water, and then the other
half is devoted to shrimp and brackish-water aquaculture. Those
systems aren't really market-oriented because they're not that productive.
The rice production is pretty minimal because rice really doesn't
tolerate that much salt in a lot of those fields.
Regarding the largest remaining tracts of mangroves in South America
and in Africa, to what degree might they be imperiled by the growth
of shrimp aquaculture?
I think if we've
learned anything in the last 20 years, it's that the lessons that
have been learned through aquaculture development at best have pretty
much been learned in one site, but they haven't been transferred
to other areas very well. So I would be very worried about the expansion
of shrimp aquaculture into mangrove areas, in areas where there
isn't a shrimp industry now.
Because I think
new operators might easily begin to work in those areas. There's
a very small operation in East Africa now--in Tanzania--that has
been incredibly destructive for mangroves that was started by a
local guy who decided that there is money in shrimp. And he didn't
have any expertise, any knowledge about shrimp aquaculture, but
he just started building a pond in a mangrove. And it has had disastrous
results; hasn't really produced very well either.
Then there was
another area like that where the investors were from the outside
and they knew more about what was happening with shrimp aquaculture
and mangroves and so they avoided mangroves. But I think we've got
to be careful about that.
The big areas
of the world in terms of the remaining mangroves, really though,
are Indonesia and Brazil. That's where the most mangroves in the
world are. There are big mangroves in Africa, but Brazil and Indonesia
combined have probably half the world's mangroves that are intact,
relatively speaking. So I think those are the areas that you would
be very concerned about. Africa is of concern just because we know
that there is commercial interest in East Africa in shrimp aquaculture
and so, whatever happens there, to avoid mistakes from other areas
would be extremely important.
One of the key benefits of aquaculture is to reduce pressure on
marine fisheries, yet fishmeal is used to feed shrimp. To what degree
are shrimp farms using fishmeal and what's the potential impact?
Well, I think
the fishmeal issue is extremely important for aquaculture, not just
for carnivorous or omnivorous aquaculture - salmon and shrimp in
particular, but also now tilapia more so. I believe the figure's
something like 27% of all fish caught in the oceans are used for
fishmeal and fish oil, so that's a big chunk. In terms of how much
is used for aquaculture, it's I believe around 20, 25% but it's
The other big
users are poultry and pig production and things like that. Now those
industries have figured out how to produce poultry and pigs using
much less fishmeal, and quite frankly it hasn't been because of
the impact of fishing on the oceans. It was because the cost of
fishmeal is twice that of soybean protein, and so they've switched
to soybeans. I think the same kind of thing has happened in salmon
production, that the use of fishmeal has dropped by half. In shrimp
production the use has dropped by about half as well, in fact without
increasing weight-gain in the process.
I think some
of the technological changes are going to make that happen even
faster, that they'll be using less and less fishmeal, and they'll
substitute vegetable proteins and vegetable-based amino acids and
oils for the fish oil.
But those are
going to take some time. As the shrimp industry expands in the next
5 to 10 years there's going to be a huge problem there. But that's
only one of the impacts on the ocean. I mean the destruction of
the wetlands, both mangroves and wetlands and tidal areas and estuaries,
all those things affect breeding and the feed of a lot of different
species in the ocean and that has a big impact.
And I think
ironically, at least in the short-term, one of the big impacts also
of aquaculture, particularly shrimp aquaculture, has been that it
has flattened the price of wild-caught shrimp and this has meant
that shrimp trawlers have had to take more to make the same amount
of money. And so it's intensified ocean fishing in a way that's
probably had a negative impact on ocean fish, particularly given
that there's huge bycatch of shrimp trawlers around the world -
a lot of complicated issues there.
I thought you said at first that the use of fishmeal is rising,
but then you say that the use is being cut by half?
The use of fishmeal
for aquaculture is increasing because the total amount of aquaculture
is increasing so phenomenally. But the percentage of fishmeal in
fish food has actually declined a lot. And in fact, with salmon,
they've experimented with feeds that have no fishmeal or fish oil
and it has worked at least experimentally, although it looks like
having some fishmeal and fish oil is going to be important.
Can you explain why using fishmeal is a problem?
One of the major
problems with using fishmeal, particularly in high concentration
in the fish foods, is that you will often be using as much as two
kilos or two tons of fish to produce one ton of farmed fish, or
farmed shrimp. That's what the old ratios of the fishmeal content
in foods were doing.
Today it's about
1:1 or a little bit less than 1:1, but there are serious questions
about providing for world food security, if you're basically reprocessing
and then charging much more than twice as much to the consumer.
You're potentially taking food off of poor people's plates and putting
it on people who can afford higher-priced items.
To what degree do you think the capture of wild post-larvae is impacting
the fisheries for shrimp aquaculture?
Again, we don't
know. There are people that have measured 40 organisms killed for
every shrimp larvae that's captured, 100 even 400. The problem is,
we don't know how significant those losses are for the recruitment
for a lot of different species. It stands to reason that since we
use billions of larvae in almost every country, there are trillions
of other things that are being killed in the process of capturing
the precautionary principle, which is if you don't know what
the impact is, try to have as little impact as possible, we
should avoid that. And the best way to avoid that is to domesticate
About half the
shrimp farms in the world today actually depend on the wild-caught
post-larvae. And in the process of catching the post-larvae, anywhere
from 40 to 100 to 400 other organisms die in the process. Given
that in even small countries billions of post-larvae are used in
the shrimp industry - and in Thailand and Ecuador it's HUGE numbers
of billions - this could have a really big impact. And since we
don't know what the impact is, we should be cautious about it.
We should move
towards hatchery programs, we should move towards domestication
programs. One of the ways to reduce the impact of shrimp aquaculture
is to close the system, to the extent that we can. There are two
major places where the system is open.
One is where
you're bringing the stock in to rear in the ponds and the other
is when you're running a lot of water through the system. So bringing
the stock in and closing that system by having hatcheries and breeding
programs and all kinds of other gains that could come from domestication.
You could domesticate
shrimp to the point that you could put them to market in a third
of the time you do today that they could gain twice as much weight
on half as much feed, they could have disease resistance, they could
be resistant to stress, just all kinds of things we've done with
domesticated farm animals - chicken is probably the most notable
There's no reason
at all to assume that we couldn't have the same kind of achievements
with shrimp. And Farm Gate, between 6 and 8 billion-dollar-a year
industry, almost one billion in cost is spent on post-larvae. There
is a lot of money to be made for the company that finds out how
to domesticate shrimp. So there's some good incentives built into
the system already. And there are a lot of companies working on
it, so I do think that that part of the system's going to be closed
The one issue
that I think also needs to be made about food, in addition to the
fishmeal, is that currently the industry estimates are that 30%
of all feed to shrimp ponds is never even consumed by shrimp because
it's fed too much at one time. It goes to the bottom and rots. It
creates stress in the system and probably extenuates disease and
wastes an awful lot of fishmeal and other expensive items. Food
also is probably one of the single largest expenses of semi-intensive
and intensive shrimp operations. So wasting 30% right off the top
is a really stupid thing to do. We do know that there are better
ways to feed, that could cut down a lot on the total feed used and
on the fishmeal used.
Do you think less intensive shrimp aquaculture is the direction
the industry needs to go, or do you think high-stocking rates can
be contained in a sustainable manner?
I think that
there are a lot of production systems around the world. Ecuador
is what they call semi-extensive. I think the stocking rates in
Ecuador are probably okay; they might even be increased a little
bit. In Thailand they definitely need to be decreased; they are
trying to produce too many shrimp in too small an area.
And it's one
of those things that's kind of counter-intuitive. Sometimes if you
put fewer shrimp in the pond you actually harvest more at the end
of the season. Plus, you have lot lower costs in terms of buying
the shrimp you put in and feeding them, and all that stuff. You
have fewer effluents to treat.
So there are
lots of economic reasons to use lower-stocking densities. I think
the reason people do use higher densities is because they don't
know that much. A lot of people who produce shrimp have never been
to high school. There's an awful lot of issues they don't understand,
particularly the smaller, less educated shrimp producers. And somebody's
got to be out there working with them and showing them how to do
it right. Again, the feed companies, the input manufacturers, the
people who buy from them could all help out in this. But if they
don't those systems are going to crash.
How can increasing the survival rate of post-larvae reduce negative
impacts and boost profits?
A lot of the
shrimp statistics are really educated guesses. But the educated
guess of the consultants in the industry are that of all the shrimp
that are put in to stock these ponds to grow out - the post-larvae
- less than half survive to the point of harvest. If you could increase
that rate to, say 70%, you would more than double the profits.
You'd do that
because you'd have more shrimp that you're harvesting at the end,
you'd have the food that you're putting into the system actually
being consumed, because most people don't realize that in a pasture
you can see how many cows there are and when a cow dies you know
it. In a shrimp pond you have a death rate but you don't know what
it is because you don't see the shrimp.
So your assumption
is that you need to feed as many shrimp as you put into the pond.
So you overfeed them, which creates more stress, but also is extremely
wasteful. You're spending money on food and nothing's eating it;
it's just going to the bottom. And then you have to spend money
on cleaning up the water quality.
So you could
make a lot of money, reduce your effluence tremendously by lowering
your stocking density, by increasing your survival rates. You actually
get more shrimp out of the pond that are harvested than by the old
way by stocking fewer shrimp.
George Lockwood has said that the use of antibiotics is an accepted
and necessary practice, both in aquaculture and agriculture, although
he thought that they should be used carefully and perhaps even be
regulated. What are some of the dangers of the excessive use of
First of all,
at this point in time, antibiotics aren't a major problem in shrimp
aquaculture. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part they're
not included in feed manufacture. Antibiotics don't affect a lot
of the diseases that shrimp get, so they don't work. That's one
of the big reasons why they are not used. But people have found
that spot use of medicines have worked much better.
As shrimp farming
becomes intensive in many parts of the world and as the number of
ponds in an area tends to overload an ecosystem - even if it's not
more intensive on each farm, the farms accumulatively become more
intensive - then I think there will probably be a tendency to use
more chemicals and more medicines as well.
problems with this is that with an animal it usually just goes into
the feces and it dries out on the ground and that's that, but with
the water issue, that third dimension that aquaculture has, which
none of these agricultural systems have, you've got not only the
shrimp that are being affected, but you've also got the medications
going into the natural environment, affecting natural populations
and their resistance and creating mutant diseases that may have
less tolerance to that could wipe out wild species as well.
We've heard a lot from NGOs about the negative socio-economic impacts
of shrimp aquaculture. To what degree do you think these problems
should be addressed by the industry?
Left to its
own devices the industry isn't going to address socio-economic issues,
except to the extent that they get bad press, or that it affects
labor, or it affects their ability to get permits. And I think that
last issue is the key one. I think if you want the industry to address
socio-economic issues you have to do two things.
You have to
make licensing and permitting conditional on certain kinds of performance
that includes socio-economic performance, not just environmental
or financial. And you have to really make sure that there are good
ideas and good alternative ways to do things where companies are
going to be just as financially viable or even more so; they're
going to be able to perform in an area and still make money.
I don't think
people have thought very much about how to change the industry from
its socio-economic impact. And I think we need to put our minds
to that because it's hard to convince people in the industry to
come up with new ideas to do things. That's maybe not their job;
that's the job of NGOs and academics and other people, and they
have been doing it. So we need to come with new models.
why not have workers form associations and collectively own part
of the company, so that they benefit from some of the value that
they add to production. This could happen in hatcheries, this could
happen in grow-out ponds, or this could happen in processing plants.
Do you believe that shrimp aquaculture raises the standard of living?
in some areas, has generated tremendous amounts of employment. I
think the employment for nationals has tended to be on the lower-wage
side of the scale. It hasn't been managerial jobs, it hasn't been
technical jobs, but in countries that have 30 to 70% unemployment,
or underemployment, that's a big deal; even a minimum wage job is
a big deal.
But a point
in fact: we don't know how much employment has been generated. We
know about foreign exchange earnings and it's very hard to deny
that on balance shrimp hasn't had a very positive effect on foreign
exchange. There's no question about it. I think under-invoicing
has kept a lot of money out of countries, and I think that you really,
really have to believe in the trickle-down theory to think that
that's actually going to trickle down to the coastal communities.
the big issue of the people who lived in a region prior to shrimp
being displaced by the industry, not even employed by it. There's
beginning to be some data that's coming out now that shows that
shrimp aquaculture tends to hire people that are not from the area.
In part that's because the people that are in the area don't want
to be in 9 to 5 jobs and they don't necessarily want to work for
the people that have displaced them or have kicked them out, they
may not have the skills necessary, or they just may not have enough
desire to work for those kinds of wages.
But in any case
the industry itself has become a big magnet, as big a magnet for
people moving, as cities have. I don't know if that's a positive
thing, putting so many more people on the coast.
Do you think it's possible for debt-ridden countries to earn this
badly needed foreign exchange by shrimp farming in a sustainable
and socio-economically just manner?
I think that
the shrimp industry is here to stay. I think it has generated a
lot of foreign exchange. I think it's been a positive contributor
to the economics of those countries. I think there are tremendous
environmental impacts. I think there are subsidies, both indirect
and direct, from the environment, from the populations, from governments.
But that's true of agriculture, that's true of all the other industries
as well. And I don't think we should single out shrimp as being
the only evil or the only production system that's not playing on
a level field, if you will.
That being said,
there's a lot of room for improvement. Shrimp industry is going
to be around, in some form or another, in the foreseeable future
so we need to figure out how to make it better. And I think we're
beginning to see how to reduce the impact on the local and regional
We haven't thought
very much at all about the social impacts, about how to improve
those impacts. We haven't really thought about the larger ecosystem,
impacts and subsidies from nature that the current industry entails.
I think we have to start looking at those two because acknowledging
that the shrimp industry is going to be around also implies that
there's going to be more and more people doing it.
The first pond
is always sustainable; the 100th or the 1000th is the problem. We
need to think more about the impact of that 1000th and manage for
it, zone for it, make sure that the sighting is done right.
Do you think international lending institutions are now giving enough
considerations to environmental and socio-economic impacts before
making loans for shrimp aquaculture?
Development Bank, I don't believe has actually ever given a loan
for shrimp aquaculture. I think the World Bank has just given its
first loan, after a 4 or 5-year hiatus, to Mexico for shrimp aquaculture
in a larger package. And they've put an awful lot of environmental
and social conditions on the loan. The Bank has also commissioned
a paper looking at the environmental impacts of shrimp aquaculture
with an eye towards developing policy about that issue.
Have they done
enough? Maybe not, but I do think it's very important that they
get engaged in the issue. Rather than saying, "don't support shrimp
aquaculture", I would like to see them figure out what the best
practices are and help get the producers of the world to those practices.
I don't want them either on the sidelines or not even in the ballpark.
I would rather have them involved in a proactive way of helping
turn this industry around.
has really been a kind of frontier industry with a frontier mentality.
And we need to start establishing what the rules of the game are.
We need to bring some order into Dodge and I think those are the
kinds of institutions that can do it. Will they? With a little encouragement
from their friends, maybe. That's where the NGOs come in.
Can you explain what you mean by the possibility of eliminating
I think that
in the next 10 years, my goal at least, is to try to figure out
ways that we can show the shrimp industry how to reduce their cost
and reduce their environmental impact, and increase their profits.
And I believe that a lot of these issues compound each other, so
if we can increase the survival rate from 50 to 70%.
If we can eliminate
that 30% of feed that's wasted, then we'll have less water problems.
We won't have to pay to exchange water, to aerate water; it'll be
fine as is. Then we can lower our stocking densities and produce
four times as much. These are the kinds of things that we need to
start looking for.
Can you comment about the possibility of future certification of
products using sustainable methods and the need for third-party
There's a lot
of desire, I think, to produce a shrimp that can be certified and
sold for a market premium. The question is what is it that we'd
be certifying? And I don't think we agree on that. And the only
way we can come to an acceptable agreement is to bring all the parties
to the table and hammer this out and it could take 2 or 3 years,
I think we need
to move the whole industry a foot rather than 10% of the industry
100 feet. So we need to come up with initial buy-in certification
systems that say this shrimp is being produced with these best practices,
or better practices, than we know today. The yardstick is going
to change. It's going to get tighter over time but this is how we're
starting and this is how you can buy in, and then we're going to
start helping the industry move forward over time.
Even so, it's
going to have to be an independent 3rd party that does the certification.
We can't have the fox guarding the chicken coop, whether it's the
industry doing its own certification or code or whatever. We can't
have the NGOs doing it either because they have their own vested
interests. It has to be independent certifiers. It's got to mean
something in the end to the consumers.
to become much more aware about the shrimp that they are eating,
whether it's wild-caught, whether it's pond-raised; what the impacts
are. We don't yet know what sustainable shrimp production -- either
from wild trawlers or from aquaculture -- would actually look like
if you saw it. But I think we'll know more over time.
need to know where their food comes from, not just about shrimp
but about agriculture and all kinds of things. So this is part of
an educational process. You've got to know what you're putting into
your body, what your impact is.
In my opinion,
if you want to say the polluter pays, the ultimate polluter is the
consumer; it's not the business that delivers the product but the
consumer that creates the demand.
For which criteria do you anticipate there being problems, as far
as having consensus?
The big issues
that we're not going to be able to resolve are how to address past
abuses. How do you deal with shrimp ponds that were built on mangroves?
That's going to be very hard. It's going to be much easier to deal
with how you establish new shrimp ponds. So at the very least we
ought to move forward.
But I think
we also have to address some of those other issues. I think some
ponds have to be retired. In Japan they've got a system where the
farmers themselves have decided to retire, because as you get more
and more ponds into the system you have to take some out of production,
and that's going to happen as shrimp matures as an industry.
So we need to
take those areas that have the biggest environmental impact out.
And I think we may not agree on Year One or Two, or even Three,
but in 5 years or so. This is a long-term commitment to engage and
change this industry. For those who want to have an impact, it's
going to take that long.
But I think
the big issues are probably going to get into the issues of genetically
modified organisms. Shrimp may start to be fed vegetable-based manipulated
canola to replace fishmeal. There are trade-offs. Do you want to
have an impact on the wild? Do you want to have an agricultural
impact? Which is the lesser evil?
But if we can
agree on 75%, that's a damn good start. Let's start with that and
move forward and let's whittle away at the other issues that we
What do you think the potential of aquaculture is at this day and
in 30 years is trying to do what agriculture did in 6000, and so
the learning curve is real steep. So we've got to learn from shrimp
and salmon, to produce better tilapia, milkfish and carp, and to
even produce cheaper salmon and shrimp. We can take pressure off
the ocean; we can take pressure off of terrestrial systems as well.
good evidence that aquaculture is going to take pressure off the
major fisheries in the ocean. In some cases because it's simply
going to drop the price so much that it's not going to be feasible
to fish for those fish anymore. I think that that is going to be
a major, major environmental improvement - getting the fishing fleets
dismantled around the world. And if aquaculture can even play a
tiny part in that, then the whole thing would have been worthwhile.
can be a major contributor to food supplies on the planet, but it's
got to be more sustainable than it is now. And if the industry doesn't
figure out how to make those tough choices and how to invest in
those new technologies, then the consumers and governments are going
to force them to.