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University of Stirling research: aquaculture needs more governance for sustainability

November 10, 2023  By Hatchery International staff

Professor Dave Little of the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling (Photo: University of Stirling)

University of Stirling researchers conducted a study that found the aquaculture sector needs more effective governance to be sustainable. They suggested five areas that can guide research agendas and policy-making in their study. 

The research, Aquaculture Governance: Five Engagement Arenas for Sustainability Transformation, was published in the Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability journal.

Prof. Dave Little of the Institute of Aquaculture said although good governance is important for ensuring that aquaculture does not cause more harm than benefits, current knowledge and practices do not have a set of unifying topics and sustainability goals.

“This is in part due to aquaculture’s rapid expansion and intensification over the last two decades, in part outpacing the ability of research and policy to catch up. As state ministries worldwide now begin to think more concretely about governance issues in the sector, the five priority areas suggested in this recent research are essential for guiding unified economic, policy and environmental planning,” said Little who co-authored the research.


The five priority areas for research and policymaking include: setting sustainability transformation goals, cross-sectoral linkages, land-water-sea connectivity, knowledge and innovation, and value chains.

According to an article from the University of Stirling, “The five areas highlight the need to balance social, economic and environmental outcomes, and how aquaculture is connected with other important food and economic sectors, suggesting the need for joint decision-making in the ministries, agencies and institutions responsible for agenda setting and resource allocation.”

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