A few years ago, while waiting for a connecting flight at Houston Airport, the Sea Around Us PI Daniel Pauly challenged Simon Fraser University resource & environmental management professor Anne Salomon to put clam gardens in a global context by mapping them along with similar Indigenous maricultural innovations around the world.
The new Global Mariculture Database (GMD), released by the Sea Around Us Project, offers detailed information on the where and what of mariculture around the world since 1950. By mapping the production of marine aquaculture at smaller scales than the usual national scale and by digging deeper into the species being farmed, the GMD provides room for new insights into marine aquaculture. And all of this information is now available online for anyone to browse on the Sea Around Us Project website!
The GMD confirms reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) that the amount of seafood produced by marine aquaculture has tripled since 1950 – a massive increase. During this time, there has also been a shift in the type of seafood produced globally, with a larger percentage of predatory species, such as salmon and tuna, farmed around the world today compared to 1950. In the past, the relative production of species lower on the food chain, like mussels and oysters, was higher. This phenomenon has been described as “farming up the food web” a term derived from the concept of fishing down marine food webs.
In keeping with the Sea Around Us Project’s goal of improving public access to global fisheries and aquaculture information, this Global Mariculture Database (GMD) is freely available online at www.seaaroundus.org.
Campbell B and Pauly D (2012) Mariculture: a global analysis of production trends since 1950. Marine Policy 39: 94-100.
The health of the world’s oceans received a score of 60 out of 100 from a team of international scientists, including researchers with the Sea Around Us Project. Kristin Kleisner, Dirk Zeller, Rashid Sumailaand Daniel Pauly were part of the team that undertook the first global quantitative assessment of ocean health and created the Ocean Health Index by evaluating ecological, social, economic and political conditions for every coastal nation in the world.
The Sea Around Us Project in particular was responsible for measuring the amount of seafood that is sustainably generated by fisheries and marine aquaculture for human consumption, which contributed to calculating the score for ocean health.