Blue Governance Group
Seaweed Solutions for Sustainable Aquaculture
Seaweed Solutions for
What is it about?
This project aims to provide the understanding needed to guide industry and decision-makers on the optimal development, production, and governance for sustainable integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) in Tasmania and south-eastern Australia.
IMTA is a form of aquaculture that involves farming several different marine species together in a way that lower trophic-level species (such as mussels and seaweed) take up the outputs of higher trophic-level species (such as salmon).
This project will investigate culture and harvest techniques to ensure that IMTA is successful biologically. It will also assess IMTA economically (as a business venture), environmentally (increased sustainability) and societally (building trust and social capital), and investigate how governance/ management structures can be optimized for IMTA in different regions. It is the latter components (economic, environmental, social, and governance sustainability) that Blue Governance researchers are focusing on.
Why is it important?
The finfish aquaculture industry recognises that fish farming can contribute to an increased level of nutrients in the local marine environment. IMTA can effectively utilize these nutrients, mitigating potential enrichment effects. This has the potential to make finfish farming more sustainable.
However, environmental sustainability is unlikely to be enough on its own to persuade individual companies to pursue IMTA as a production model. It also needs to be economically (through product diversification) and socially (through the social license to operate) sustainable.