Plastic pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, rising sea levels, climate change, etc. All this clearly causes alarm about the state of the planet. No wonder that in recent years concern about the environment has grown significantly in Spain, where according to the CIS barometer analysis 76.1% of Spaniards are very or fairly concerned about ecology-related issues.
Amid growing concern about everything related to the environment, the situation of the seas and oceans is one which most worries society. The saltwater bodies on Earth is home to a significant percentage of the planet’s biodiversity, and they represent a key means for developing productive activities and obtaining food for humans. An air of concern pervades our thoughts and the need for action is clear.
Aquaculture seeks to answer some of these problems, especially those that relate to marine exploitation. Dating as far back as the earliest civilizations, in recent years the practice has grown steadily and is expected to be maintained in the future.
We are at a time of social upheaval, constant change and much uncertainty. Small decisions can condition the evolution of aquaculture in the future. Forced to sharpen our wits, the pressing need now is for transformation, growth and advance against the inertia that leads to failure. For this very reason, the challenges faced by aquaculture today have ambitious solutions supported by disruptive and innovative technologies to reorganise the production needs and move towards aquaculture 4.0.
First, we are in a digital world where a massive amount of data is generated. This wave of information is often wasted because we don’t give it the importance it deserves. By data analysis or creating deep learning algorithms, we are able to establish new correlations between parameters, predict future events and, ultimately, have a tighter control over production centres.
Another technology on everyone’s lips is the blockchain a distributed database with high computing power thanks to its underlying network structure. Its emergence in the aquaculture sector is being transformative, and its mission is to certify the supply chain. Its implementation will translate into increased transparency for products and the end of numerous frauds that undermines good aquaculture practice. Currently, it is estimated that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing accounts for up to 23 billion euros each year in the world economy, representing about 26 million tons the world’s total catch.
Finally, we must be aware that we find ourselves at a unique moment to revive aquaculture by supporting innovation. We must not limit ourselves if we want a future where our oceans are not in danger and where aquaculture receives a boost from technology, without forgetting its purest essence, because since the earliest times, aquaculture has been present in our lives. We know the importance of this occupation and wealth it generates, and therefore we can say that aquaculture will remain a core activity in human development.
Happy Aquaculture Day!!