Aquaculture in a changing climate


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Presented by Edward Allison at the World Aquaculture Society Conference, held in Nashville Tennessee, USA from 22 to 25 February, 2013.

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  • When I started working on the impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture, in 2005, there was already a lot of academic research on climate variability, marine and aquatic ecology and fish production, but that research had little traction in the world of policy and management and was entirely unconnected with the world of climate adaptation and mitigation, of the IPCC and the climate conferences. There was no climate change policy, position statement or agenda from any national or international organization working with the sector, and none of the major climate change policies had given consideration to the sector – or even to the oceans. It took 15 years before the words ocean and fish were mentioned in UNFCCC conferences. So, as well as doing some research on vulnerablity and adaptation options, With my colleagues, we have worked hard over the last 7 years to bring climate change policy issues – impact, adaptation and mitigation – into the policy arena. Some of the steps we’ve taken and the initiatives I’ve led or been involved in include FAO’s first publication on climate change, fisheries and aquaculture Started a climate change research programme at the WorldFish Center Brought fish to COP15 – Copenhagen and hit on the idea of oceans day – like forest day and agriculture day… Helped to found the Partnership on Climate Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Arrive here at a time when you’ve just had the largest climate-change related political demonstration in the US
  • NE US and Canada will get wetter, southern part of he country, central America and chile and much of Brazil will get dryer, as will the mediterranean, Sahel, India and Australia. SE Asia and the western Pacific will get more rain, as will scotland ,scandinavia and the soviet union
  • IPCC not over-pessimistic in its assessments…
  • The insurance company Munich Re, however, found an increase in extreme weather events (and not just cost of insurance and value of payouts)
  • Simple pathway…
  • More complicated….
  • In a 4 degree warmer world, you’d only be safe for six months of the year, instead of the 9.5 now.
  • Winners, losers and sustainability
  • Main point: ‘No regrets”
  • ! Energy use/ GHG emissions due to aquaculture can vary strongly between species, systems and regions In general LCA studies indicate that the farming stage is the most important one concerning energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, however, more studies involving the whole value chain are necessary Within the aquaculture production stage feed is most commonly the most important source of greenhouse gas emissions in aquaculture (in case the system depends on feed). On farm electricity and fuel use has a substantial impact in case of a high degree of mechanization (e.g. aeration, water exchange systems). In certain extensive systems fertilizers contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and energy use as well.
  • Results for GWP given in kg CO 2 e for the production of one live-weight tonne of fish I chose these two systems because they are from the same authors and the methodology is similar. Both analysis went up to the farm-gate (Tilapia study went beyond, but also gave results for up to farm-gate) Salmon: Pelletier et al. 2009 ( Not All Salmon Are Created Equal: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Global Salmon Farming Systems) Tilapia: Pelletier & Tyedmers 2010 (Life Cycle Assessment of Frozen Tilapia Fillets From Indonesian Lake-Based and Pond-Based Intensive Aquaculture Systems)
  • Make sure the comparisons are from methodologically similar or robust studies (eg Pelletier). Good to see some more comparisons with global fisheries. Is the source correct?
  • Reduction of energy and fuel use: R educed machinery use and use of energy efficient machinery; Energy efficient lighting; Use of low carbon and/or recycled building materials; Local sourcing of inputs; Improved command and control processes; Reduction in inorganic fertilizer and other chemical inputs Renewable energy use and generation On site generation of power and/or heat from renewable sources ( solar, wind, geothermal, water, tide, wave, and biomass ); Use of biomass crops; Sourcing of renewable energy supplies ( electricity from renewable sources; run vehicles, boats, machinery and generators on biofuels ) Adoption of best management practises Efficient conversion of feed to animal biomass: enhanced through good site selection, adopting optimal feeding strategies (e.g. concerning feed presentation, feeding rate and frequency), ensuring good husbandry, selective breeding programs, switch to more energy-efficient feeds as well as improved dosage forms (e.g. better pellet size, palatability and digestibility) Improved soil, water and waste management: Avoid excessive accumulation and mineralization of organic carbon in ponds. Yet accumulating carbon (in wastewaters, sediments/sludge), however, can be captured and utilized to produce biogas or biomass (production of sea cucumbers, shellfish, detrivorous fish, algae and various plants using aquaculture waste has been successfully tested – however, species composition needs to be chosen very carefully )
  • Landscape level: Integration of the aquaculture within the wider ecosystem (e.g. farming landscape or wetlands) Farming landscape: Most of the world’s soils used for agriculture have been depleted of organic matter due to conventional farming practices (e.g. ploughing or hoeing before every crop). This degradation process is reversible: the formation of carbon stocks in soils can be achieved through increased carbon inputs and the adoption of certain agricultural practices, e.g. reduced tillage, use of cover crops. This is not only beneficial for mitigating climate change, but also enhances food security (increased yields). Sludge and wastewater from aquaculture can be used as fertilizer for agricultural crops or as a type of soil conditioner for degraded sites  The carbon in the sludge/wastewater is conserved. However, not all tested systems concerning fertilization of agricultural crops have been proven successful. Mangrove-friendly aquaculture: Various integrated systems have emerged, especially in Southeast Asia, including mangrove-shrimp, mangrove-crab or mangrove-fish systems Ways to enforce these measures include (organic) certification or integration of carbon credit schemes. However, GHG emissions and sequestration that occur as a result of the management of coastal and marine habitats are currently not accounted for and therefore not included in international climate change mechanisms (e.g. REDD; Laffoley et al. 2009). Example: Shrimp farmers striving for organic certification in Ecuador are obliged to replant at least 50% of any mangrove forest cleared to establish the farm (Bunting et al, 2009). Mangroves: long-term rate of carbon accumulation in sediment 139 gC m -2 yr -1  sequestration of carbon by means of conservation and restoration has high potential Synergies: Besides mitigation of climate, aquaculture will also need to adapt it its impacts - both mitigation and adaptation are essential in reducing the risks of climate change. The implementation of an ecosystem approach to aquaculture is one of the most relevant adaptations to climate change and also has mitigation potential  pursuing this strategy might for now be the most appropriate action
  • Aquaculture in a changing climate

    1. 1. Aquaculture in a changing climate Edward H Allison University of East Anglia, UK and WorldFish Center Penang, Malaysia Aquculture Triennial Nashville, Tennessee, USAPhoto: Mehadi, WorldFish - Bangladesh 22nd February 2013
    2. 2. Washington DClast weekend…
    3. 3. Percent of US citizens who believe global warming has already begun McCright & Dunlap (2011) The Sociological Quarterly 52 Democrat Independent Republican
    4. 4. Global financial crisisGallup poll trends on % of US public support for questions about global warming
    5. 5. Overview• What are the predictions for future climate?• Evidence of recent climate change?• How is the aquaculture sector impacted?• How can aquaculture adapt?• Does aquaculture have a role in climate change mitigation?• What research is needed?
    6. 6. Possible climate futures…World Bank (2012), Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4⁰C Warmer World Must Be Avoided. Washington DC
    7. 7. Climate change will impact on water available for aquaculture
    8. 8. Sea level rise faster than originally predicted by IPCC Rahmsdorf et al., (2012) Env. Res. Lett. Measured Satellite IPCC predictions Gauge
    9. 9. Extreme events:Globally, hurricanes are getting stronger but not more frequent – but regional patterns differ. Same for droughts and floods Maue (2011) Geophys. Res. Lett. (data updated 31/12/12)
    10. 10. Are anthropogenic GHG climte Is current chngeemissions the main causeof recent climate change?An 800,000 yr time series of CO2concentrations from Antarctic icecores (NOAA, 2009)
    11. 11. Climate change impacts on aquaculture systems Source: Pickering et al 2011
    12. 12. Pickering et al (2011)Vulnerability ofaquaculture in thetropical Pacific to climatechange, In Bell et al. SPC.
    13. 13. Climate change and mollusc aquaculture (Allison et al., 2011) Human Activity Other drivers of change: population, growth, tradeOther CO2 > CO2 in OceanGHGs emissions oceans acidification < calcificationAtmospheric warming in shellfishand changing weather Reduced oxygenation Increased costspatterns Changes in PP and < growth and of production food webs production Changes in Changes in natural > mortality production Rising SST spat-fall ≠ recruitment volume and Increased disease value Shift sites of Changing Ocean outbreaks production; adaptation in Currents Spread of pests and grow different system alien species species management, transportation Sea level rise and marketing Increased losses Coastal flooding and direct damage More extreme Extreme rainfall to aquaculture weather High winds and infrastructure events waves
    14. 14. Seawater warming and its implications for aquaculture: increased risks from disease? e.g. PSP agent Alexandrium catenella in Puget Sound (Moore et al., 2008)
    15. 15. Not all climate change impacts are negativeHigher temperatures associated with enhanced recruitment to scallop fisheries in the North Irish Sea (Shepherd et al., 2010)
    16. 16. Can current and anticipated demands for fish and seafood be met in a changing climate?• World population to increase to 9.3 Billion by 2050• Fish provides protein, minerals and vitamins (17kg/cap/yr)• Marine capture fisheries close to maximum capacity• Aquaculture growing faster than population in the last 30 years, specially in Asia
    17. 17. Modelling framework20 countries with LMEs producing 80% of global catch
    18. 18. Climate change and reduction fisheries Fishmeal +3% in 2050
    19. 19. Conclusions of the study• CC and marine fisheries ~ Food fish production +6.5%, Fishmeal +3% by 2050• Aquaculture: Likely to produce enough fish to maintain and increase current consumption if recent trends in feed technology continue. FIFO would need to reduce to 50% of current.• Capture fisheries: management efficiency also required to secure fish for direct consumption and for feed (likely).• Aquaculture impacts could be transferred from fisheries to terrestrial commodities (e.g soya).Merino et al (2012) Can aquaculture meet global seafood demand in changing climate? Global Environmental Change 22
    20. 20. Adapting aquaculture systems to change: a farm level viewExposure + Sensitivity = Potential Impacts ( IPCC, 2001) Potential Impacts + Adaptive Capacity = Vulnerability
    21. 21. Adaptation and mitigation decisions under uncertainty e.g. Shrimp or rice in low-lying coastal Asia?Photos: Mike Lusmore, WorldFish Daw et al (2008) for FAO
    22. 22. A value-chain perspective on CC adaptation in aquaculture Low carbon certification Weather linked insuranceINSTITUTIONAL Emissions accounting Regional agreements ADAPTATION Tariffs, taxes, subsidies Community adaptation funds Energy efficient Energy saving technologiesTECHNICAL Sustainable seafood Early Warning Systems transport & storageADAPTATION information Flood defenses Processing methods Farmed species choices VALUE CHAIN Production valueIMPACT ON: Fishing/AQ operations Coastal infrastructure CLIMATE CHANGE DRIVERS
    23. 23. Aquaculture’s contributions to globalCapture fisheries, warming and it’s potential for mitigation agricultural Hatchery / Wild products and stocking wastes Fertilizers, chemicals Feed production Aquaculture Processing Direct energy Production Phase (light, heat, pumps etc) Distribution Life cycle analysis ConsumptionGlobal warming Waste Disposalpotential
    24. 24. Example: Salmon v. TilapiaSalmon Tilapia (lake-based) Global Warming potential: 1520 kg CO2e / t Contributing factors:Global Warming potential: 2160 feed (92 %) kg CO2e / t farm level energy useContributing factors: feed (3 %) (94 %) farm fingerlings (5 %) level energy use (3 %) smolts (3 %) Pelletier & Tyedmers 2010Pelletier et al. 2009
    25. 25. Aquaculture compared with wild fish and other foods From Hall et al., (2011) Blue Frontiers. WorldFish Center 27
    26. 26. Emission Reduction Opportunities – Farm LevelReduction of energy and fuel useRenewable energy use and generationFeed substitutionAdoption of best management practises: Efficient conversion of feed to animal biomass Improved soil, water and waste management
    27. 27. Mitigation at the landscape level• Integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems: use of aquaculture wastes (i.e. sludge) to form carbon stocks in agricultural soils• Mangrove-friendly aquaculture (carbon sequestration rate of mangroves: 139 gC m-2 yr-1) => organic shrimp farming? Synergy with adaptation measures: Landscape-based mitigation can also reduce climate change vulnerability and promote adaptation (e.g. coastal protection)
    28. 28. Coastal wetlands and seagrass beds sequester more carbon per unit area than land based systemsMangroves 139
    29. 29. Climate change research atSessions: Climate change and shellfish diseases Acidification and shellfish aquacultureIndividual talks and posters: Climate change and bio-invasions Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture Climate vulnerability and adaptation (Florida, West Africa) Mangroves and carbon marketsRelated fundamental research: Hypoxia, thermal tolerance, salinity change, feeds
    30. 30. Climate change and aquaculture research needs• Identifying vulnerable people, places and farming systems• Breeding and species selection for future climates• Cost-benefit analysis of adaptation options• Low-carbon farming systems• Climate-proofing value chains
    31. 31. Key messagesImpacts• complex, uncertain but already becoming evident• some winners some losers (equity and ethics considerations)Adaptation• addresses both threats and opportunities• mostly ‘no regrets’• many businesses already adapting but little planned adaptationMitigation• aquaculture can help lower carbon footprint of the human diet• build ‘blue carbon’ stocks through landscape management
    32. 32. Thanks ! Malcolm Beveridge Anne Delaporte, Mike Phillips Denis Hellebrandt, Suan Pheng Kam Neil Adger Marie-Caroline Badjeck Steve Hall Cassandra de Young Manuel Barange Doris Soto Gorka MerinoJohn Cooksey Nick DulvyJay ParsonsSandy Shumway