In a recent interview Dr. Matthias Halwart, head of the global and regional processes team for aquaculture at the FAO, explained how the organisation takes a holistic approach towards the sustainability of aquaculture. Dr. Halwart pointed out that one of the biggest challenges are the cost and environmental impacts of different culturing methods. He provided examples of cultivating mussels along the coast and compared it to a fin fish in a cage in a small lake, or a crab in a rice field.
He highlighted the option for integrated systems, e.g. the combination of land farming and aquaculture farming, and provided the example of a rice-fish system, where the connection of production components – rice and fish – can increase incomes and improve the availability of food.
In a recent Tweet Dr. Halwart stated “Improved aquaculture systems also require further technical innovations – with a focus on genetic improvements in breeding programmes, feeds, biosecurity and disease control – coupled with coherent policies and incentives throughout entire value chain.”
This is where the EIT Food-funded AGAPE project ensures that the right skills for such innovation are available. The goal of the project is to provide a platform which matches jobseekers’ skills with the needs of the aquaculture industry. And beyond, it will analyse trends of industry skill needs, ensuring that the right skills in the workforce are available when they are needed by the industry.