Sustainable aquaculture through the ‘One Health’ lens

Sustainable aquaculture through the ‘One Health’ lens

Professor Ian Bateman (Director, LEEP Institute) took part in a one-day workshop, hosted by the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Futures (Cefas) and the University of Exeter, to consider the role of aquaculture in future food from water and potential for delivery of national, regional and global One Health objectives relating to sustainable aquatic food supply.

The Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Futures (SAF), a collaboration between Cefas and the University of Exeter was launched in 2017 by the Defra Secretary of State Rt. Hon. Mr Michael Gove to facilitate wider collaborative opportunities in the aquaculture sector.

Since then, SAF has established a strong presence within the UK and overseas via a range of programmes focussed on aquatic animal health, diagnostics, host-pathogen interaction, AMR, human health and the social sciences. Given projections for aquaculture (in all forms, across freshwater and marine systems) to double over the coming two decades, to supply 70% of all aquatic protein consumed, and that over 90% of this production will occur in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), ensuring production systems are aligned with principles of sustainability is now urgent.

The One Health movement, in which human, environment and organism health are considered in continuum provides a means by which future food systems may be assessed and designed.

it was discussed in the workshop how these principles are being developed for application across the Defra policy systems and further, how future aquatic food production based around aquaculture may be considered through the lens of One Health. The workshop provided an opportunity to explore the potential to decouple aquatic food production from damage to freshwater and marine systems, or to inequity between human producer and consumer communities. It also provided a chance to consider the research, evidence and policy changes that may be needed to ensure UK leadership in this space, at home and overseas.

Date: 2 July 2019

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