Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture

A new analysis suggests that open-ocean aquaculture for three species of finfish is a viable option for industry expansion under most climate change scenarios — an option that may provide a new source of protein for the world’s growing population.

This modeling study found that the warming of near-shore surface waters would shift the range of many species toward the higher latitudes — where they would have better growth rates — but even in areas that will be significantly warmer, open-ocean aquaculture could survive because of adaptation techniques including selective breeding. Results of the study are being published this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“Open-ocean aquaculture is still a young and mostly unregulated industry that isn’t necessarily environmentally sound, but aquaculture also is the fastest growing food sector globally,” said James Watson, an Oregon State University environmental scientist and co-author on the study. “One important step before developing such an industry is to assess whether such operations will succeed under warming conditions.

READ MORE…

Reprint from ScienceDaily