Sustainable aquaculture through the One Health lens


Aquaculture is predicted to supply the majority of aquatic dietary protein by 2050. For aquaculture to deliver significantly enhanced volumes of food in a sustainable manner, appropriate account needs to be taken of its impacts on environmental integrity, farmed organism health and welfare, and human health. Here, we explore increased aquaculture production through the One Health lens and define a set of success metrics — underpinned by evidence, policy and legislation — that must be embedded into aquaculture sustainability. We provide a framework for defining, monitoring and averting potential negative impacts of enhanced production — and consider interactions with land-based food systems. These metrics will inform national and international science and policy strategies to support improved aquatic food system design.

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Fig. 1: One Health approach to sustainable food system design and analysis.
Fig. 2: One Health success metrics for sustainable aquaculture.
Fig. 3: Application of One Health success metrics to aquaculture and related sub-sectors.


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We acknowledge the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Futures (a collaboration between the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science and the University of Exeter) for funding under contract Cefas Seedcorn contract no. SP003 to host a workshop ‘Sustainable Aquaculture through the One Health Lens’ at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) London, on 1 July 2019. The input to that workshop by colleagues from across Defra provided significant guidance for the material contained within this article.

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G.D.S. conceptualized the manuscript and led the development of the text, I.J.B., S.J.H., D.B., R.H., E.M.S., M.J.D., S.W.F., N.G.H.T., D.W.V.-J., R.v.A., E.J.P., W.A.H., L.S., R.B., I.K. and C.R.T. attended and presented at the ‘Sustainable Aquaculture through the One Health lens’ workshop in London on 1 July 2019 and wrote elements of this manuscript. D.C.B. and H.E.F. wrote elements of the manuscript and were involved with wide-ranging discussions on integration of One Health principles within aquaculture and sustainable food system design.

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Correspondence to G. D. Stentiford.

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Stentiford, G.D., Bateman, I.J., Hinchliffe, S.J. et al. Sustainable aquaculture through the One Health lens. Nat Food 1, 468–474 (2020).

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