Urban Aquaculture

Urban aquaculture is the “farming" of aquatic organisms, including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants within the urban environment (rivers, ponds, lakes, canals). Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as the regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated. Urban aquaculture systems can de differentiated according to location, species, environment concerned, and the intensity of production.

Urban aquaculture holds various advantages of being located close to urban markets and being able to access urban waste resources. But there are potential constraints associated with undertaking aquaculture in urban and peri-urban areas: producers are often unable to exert control over the prevailing hydrology and regulation of all inflows and discharges which may allow contaminants, predators and diseases to enter and nutrients, food resources and stock to escape. The physical openness of many extensive and semi-intensive aquaculture systems also means risks from airborne pollution and theft by poachers.

For an extensive introduction to this subject please go to State of the Art. This paper assesses the status of urban aquaculture and the most important literature and knowledge sources are discussed providing a comprehensive overview that highlights challenges facing decision-makers, planners and stakeholders in developing policies, programmes and management strategies that facilitate sustainable, equitable and safe urban aquaculture. The prevailing characteristics of existing urban aquaculture activities are described and the associated benefits are discussed. The recognised constraints and emerging threats to urban aquaculture are then presented. Following this assessment important knowledge gaps and challenges facing planners, managers and other stakeholders are identified and potential approaches to deal with the issues raised are proposed.

Go to RUAF publications for RUAF publications on this topic (most of which are available online). You may also view the articles in the Urban Agriculture Magazine on this topic or search the Bibliographic Database for other literature references, abstracts and online documents on this subject.

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