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Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center


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Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center


With earth’s burgeoning human populations to feed, we must turn to the sea with new understanding and new technology. We must farm it as we have the land.
— JacquesCousteau

Aquaculture is an important tool for combating global hunger and the growing human demand for protein. It also poses challenges and risks for people and the environment. As the human population expands and wild fish stocks are depleted aquaculture represents a potentially sustainable and nutritious alternative food source. Aquaculture is also a tool for ecosystem management and restoration. Research is needed to address critical questions concerning the social and environmental sustainability of a wide-variety of aquaculture practices. The Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center (SARC), located at the University of California Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, is helping to advance ecosystem-based management through solution-oriented science focused on the socio-ecological impacts and implications of marine aquaculture. We partner with other researchers, industry professionals, managers, and stakeholders using state-of-the-art and multidisciplinary approaches.

 

For more information about us, check out our About us or Projects pages

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Aquaculture fills the gap


With ever increasing demand for fish and limited wild stocks, aquaculture has stepped in to address the need for nutritious protein.

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Aquaculture fills the gap


With ever increasing demand for fish and limited wild stocks, aquaculture has stepped in to address the need for nutritious protein.

Demands for fish are increasing with human population and increasing demand per capita for fish but fishing yields have hit a ceiling. Aquaculture is an historic practice that is increasing in popularity and intensity to fill this need for fish and has been identified as the solution to humanities growing demand for protein. As production from fish farms accelerates it is important to understand the negative impacts of each technique to best inform further progress. We are only beginning to understand the potential effects (positive and negative) of the wide variety of aquaculture practices on important coastal ecosystems and societies, and know even less about how to properly mitigate any potential damage from these practices. 

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Balinese prawn farms replace important mangrove nursery habitat

Balinese prawn farms replace important mangrove nursery habitat

Zambian woman applies processed feed to her tilapia ponds

Zambian woman applies processed feed to her tilapia ponds

 A woman cries after thousands of fish died from pollution at her farm in China

 A woman cries after thousands of fish died from pollution at her farm in China

Learn more about these costs and benefits on our aquaculture page

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SARC @ UCSB


Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

University of California, Santa Barbara

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SARC @ UCSB


Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

University of California, Santa Barbara

Located at the University of California in Santa Barbara in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, the Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center is surrounded by cutting edge coastal resource and aquaculture research. Our researchers are leaders in marine ecological impacts, global fisheries and human use assessments and natural resource economics and we are teaming with NGOs, government and industry to help promote sustainable aquaculture practice domestically as well as abroad.  Following the ecosystem approach to aquaculture, we are working to advance our understanding of how aquaculture interacts with important ecosystems and devise ways to improve these relationships.

 

To learn more about who we are and what we do, click on one of these links:

Our team

Our Projects

Contact us!

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The Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA)

SARC believes that aquaculture can be most sustainable and beneficial under EAA. This approach focuses on balancing societal, environmental and ecological objectives in aquaculture operations. This approach can be applied at the farm, regional or policy-making level and should work to improve sustainability of aquaculture operations as well as human benefit.  This is done by assessing interactions between aquaculture and the surrounding physical, biological and anthropogenic systems and incorporating methods to improve efficiency. Additionally, aquaculture has been used to actively restore habitats and important species, such as habitat restoration through oyster farming and hatchery operations to enhance stocks of over fished species. Check out our projects to see how we are incorporating EAA into our work!