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Is Responsible Aquaculture Sustainable Aquaculture? WWF And The Eco-Certification Of Tilapia

B. Belton, D. Little, K. Grady
Published 2009 · Business

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Public awareness of possible environmental impacts of seafood consumption is growing. The seafood industry and environmental pressure groups have begun to certify fish and other aquatic products produced to sustainable standards. Representations of sustainability advanced by both groups in relation to tilapia converge around limited definitions related primarily to technical parameters. Such an approach does not adequately represent the complexity of sustainable aquaculture and may be counterproductive. This is illustrated by a comparing assumptions embedded in the text of the World Wide Fund for Nature's “tilapia aquaculture dialogue” with empirical findings from a study assessing the sustainability of tilapia farming systems in Central Thailand. Building on these findings, representations of sustainable tilapia aquaculture produced by the “tilapia aquaculture dialogue” are criticized, and it is argued that new approaches are required if sustainable aquaculture is to be meaningfully understood and implemented.
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