The Falkland Islands Exclusive Economic Zone, locally known as the Falkland Islands Conservation Zone (Image: Amélie A Auge /researchgate.net)
Potential development of aquaculture to be assessed
Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 17:50 (GMT + 9)
A detailed assessment is to be carried out into the potential development of an aquaculture industry in the Falkland Islands, it was announced by the government. The proposal is at a very early stage and the Falkland Islands Government needs to improve its understanding of the industry before making a commitment to any go-ahead.
The investigation of policy, regulatory and technical requirements is the first step in deciding whether such an industry is viable, and to determine if it can be conducted safely in the local environment.
Director of Natural Resources Dr Andrea Clausen says near-shore aquaculture on a large scale would be new to the Falkland Islands.
“We are going to take time over the next two years to understand the risks and to ensure that global best practices for environmental protection and sustainable management would be followed if an aquaculture industry were to be developed at a future point.”
Historically the Falkland Islands economy was based on high-quality wool production, but since 1986 it has been dominated by the fishing industry, which currently contributes between 30% and 40% of total GDP annually. Source: National Accounts
Dr Clausen says finding the expertise to fully assess the scope and case for a new sector industry, along with the necessary bio-security and other regulatory frameworks, requires expert and specialist support.
Portfolio holder MLA Teslyn Barkman says aquaculture has the potential to be a sustainable and stable long-term revenue source for the Falkland Islands.
“However, those benefits can quickly vanish if you do not have a strong regulatory environment. It’s therefore critical that we do our own assessment of what’s required, independent of any particular industry proposal.”
The aquaculture assessment work supports a number of objectives in The Islands Plan, 2018-2022, among which create long term, coordinated strategies that ensure our economy remains sustainable and benefits everyone; ensure responsible marine management; promote opportunities for individuals and families to live in Camp; develop science and technology capabilities for the Islands and augment economic development in Camp.
Source: Penguin News /Mercopress