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University of Malta (2009)

The economics and environmental impacts of aquaculture in selected Mediterranean islands

Zammit, Flavia

Titre : The economics and environmental impacts of aquaculture in selected Mediterranean islands

Auteur : Zammit, Flavia

Université de soutenance : University of Malta

Grade : Master of Arts Islands and Small States Studies 2009

The aquaculture industry is considered to be the fastest growing sector of the global food economy, having been promoted world-wide as an alternative to fisheries, in view of the steady decline in wild capture fisheries. There is also an increasing demand for fisheries products, which is attributed to population growth and increased income, global market preference of seafood and facilitated international trade, transport and communications. However, the negative environmental impacts of the fish farming industry are constantly being offset with the derived economic benefits of the industry, especially in light of conflicts that arise with existing users and uses of coastal resources. Mediterranean marine cage culture has mainly focussed on the farming of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.), gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.) and the ranching of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus thynnus L.) which involves fattening of wild-caught tuna. This study looks at the aquaculture sector of selected Mediterranean islands from two distinct points of view. From the economic point of view, the present study highlights the economic contribution and performance of the aquaculture sectors of Malta, Greece (islands) and Cyprus. The importance of the new European Union Data Collection Framework is shown to be of particular relevance given the limited availability of detailed and converging economic data for the chosen European Union Mediterranean Member States. EUROSTAT aquaculture data was utilised for the purpose of comparison of total aquaculture production for Malta, Greece and Cyprus. Important aspects of the aquaculture sectors of Malta, Greece and Cyprus were characterised. Greece is shown to be the country that has undergone the greatest fluctuations in total aquaculture production during the period 1996-2007, as well as being the largest producer of aquaculture products, in comparison with Malta and Cyprus. The Maltese aquaculture sector is shown to be undergoing growth and development, mainly as a result of the steadily evolving tuna-penning segment. The Cypriot aquaculture sector is displaying promising growth and development, especially in light of future development of its tuna-penning segment. From the environmental impact point of view, this study highlights the major environmental impacts resulting from sea cage farming activities in Malta, Greece and Cyprus. It is concluded that there exists a lack of scientific research in the area of the environmental impact of tuna ranching activities despite the rapid rate of evolution of this major segment of the aquaculture sector for islands such as Malta. This study also provides a summary of the position on the "Regulatory and Administrative burden" as faced and perceived by Maltese fish farmers, as represented by the Federation of Maltese Fish Farmers. The practicality and feasibility of implementation of sustainable aquaculture practices is discussed in light of the views expressed by Maltese fish farmers.

Présentation (OAR@UM)

Page publiée le 25 mai 2022