Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
We review estimates of the spatial ecosystem support required to run a typical semi-intensive shrimp farm in a coastal mangrove area in Carribean Colombia, and to produce food inputs and process wastes for large-scale industrially managed tilapia cage culture and small-scale, semi-intensive tilapia pond farming in Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. The tilapia farming is discussed in relation to the pelagic kapenta, Limnothrissa miodon (Boulenger), fishery and to inshore fisheries in the Lake.The results show that a semi-intensive shrimp farm needs a spatial ecosystem support—the ecological footprint—35 to 190 times the surface area of the pond, mainly mangrove area. Based on the analysis, we conclude that shrimp farming in Colombia is already utilizing close to the full support capacity of its coastal environment. In intensive tilapia cage farming, the ecological footprint for feed production is 10 000 times larger than the area of the cages. In contrast, a tilapia pond farm maintained on offals from fisheries, agriculture and households depends very little on external ecosystem areas. As long as there is a direct market for human consumption of all kapenta caught in the Lake, fish cage farming based on fish meal from kapenta would be doubtful from ethical, ecological as well as resource management points of view, even if it was economically feasible.
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