2017
NATURE, ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION

Linked sustainability challenges and trade-offs among fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture

JL Blanchard, RA Watson, EA Fulton, RS Cottrell, KL Nash, A Bryndum-Buchholz, M Büchner, DA Carozza, WWL Cheung, J Elliott, LNK Davidson, NK Dulvy, JP Dunne, TD Eddy, E Galbraith, HK Lotze, O Maury, C Müller, DP Tittensor, S Jennings.

Abstract

Fisheries and aquaculture make a crucial contribution to global food security, nutrition and livelihoods. However, the UN Sustainable Development Goals separate marine and terrestrial food production sectors and ecosystems. To sustainably meet increasing global demands for fish, the interlinkages among goals within and across fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture sectors must be recognized and addressed along with their changing nature. Here, we assess and highlight development challenges for fisheries-dependent countries based on analyses of interactions and trade-offs between goals focusing on food, biodiversity and climate change. We demonstrate that some countries are likely to face double jeopardies in both fisheries and agriculture sectors under climate change. The strategies to mitigate these risks will be context-dependent, and will need to directly address the trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals, such as halting biodiversity loss and reducing poverty. Countries with low adaptive capacity but increasing demand for food require greater support and capacity building to transition towards reconciling trade-offs. Necessary actions are context-dependent and include effective governance, improved management and conservation, maximizing societal and environmental benefits from trade, increased equitability of distribution and innovation in food production, including continued development of low input and low impact aquaculture.