Environmental, Economic, and Social Sustainability in Aquaculture: The Aquaculture Performance Indicators

Fig. 4 shows the average output dimension scores for salmon (n = 4), tilapia (n = 6), carp (n = 9), shrimp (n = 12), mollusk (n = 9), catfish (n = 4), and seaweed (n = 2).
Fig. 4: Average output dimension scores for salmon (n = 4), tilapia (n = 6), carp (n = 9), shrimp (n = 12), mollusk (n = 9), catfish (n = 4), and seaweed (n = 2).

Authors: Taryn M. Garlock, Frank Asche, James L. Anderson, Håkan Eggert, Thomas M. Anderson, Bin Che, Carlos A. Chávez, Jingjie Chu, Nnaemeka Chukwuone, Madan M. Dey, Kevin Fitzsimmons, Jimely Flores, Jordi Guillen, Ganesh Kumar, Lijun Liu, Ignacio Llorente, Ly Nguyen, Rasmus Nielsen, Ruth B. M. Pincinato, Pratheesh O. Sudhakaran, Byela Tibesigwa, and Ragnar Tveteras


Aquaculture is a rapidly growing food production technology, but there are significant concerns related to its environmental impact and adverse social effects. We examine aquaculture outcomes in a three pillars of sustainability framework by analyzing data collected using the Aquaculture Performance Indicators. Using this approach, comparable data has been collected for 57 aquaculture systems worldwide on 88 metrics that measure social, economic, or environmental outcomes. We first examine the relationships among the three pillars of sustainability and then analyze performance in the three pillars by technology and species. The results show that economic, social, and environmental outcomes are, on average, mutually reinforced in global aquaculture systems. However, the analysis also shows significant variation in the degree of sustainability in different aquaculture systems, and weak performance of some production systems in some dimensions provides opportunity for innovative policy measures and investment to further align sustainability objectives.

Read the full publication at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-49556-8.

Published June 21, 2024