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AQUAECOLOGY

Working with stakeholders to scope opportunities for regenerative water-based food.

Water is at the heart of Britain’s identity.  Our rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastlines were once teeming with life, and food was routinely and plentifully harvested from the water.  More recently, pollution from the land and destructive practices in rivers and at sea, have led to a dramatic decline in water-based ecosystems, and in the life and food systems that once thrived around us.  

We are investigating the potential for aquaecology - a new approach to water-based food production on and around the British Isles. 

In agroecological and regenerative farm systems, producers work in balance with nature to transform the impacts of food production so that negative externalities are reduced and reversed. Nature-centric approaches can improve plant and wildlife diversity, sequester carbon, boost farm animal health and welfare, and eliminate pollution, thereby reducing input costs and delivering better quality jobs.  Agroecological principles could deliver similar substantial benefits for marine and freshwater food production, nature restoration, fish health and welfare, and the regeneration of coastal communities. 

In agroecological farm systems, producers work in balance with nature to transform the impacts of food production so that negative externalities are reduced and reversed.  Nature-centric approaches can improve plant and wildlife diversity, sequester carbon, boost farm animal health and welfare, and eliminate pollution, thereby reducing input costs and delivering better quality jobs. 
Aquaecology could deliver similar substantial benefits for marine and freshwater food production, nature restoration, fish health and welfare, and the regeneration of coastal communities. 


Ocean and river environments do however have a remarkable capacity for recovery.  More sustainable fisheries, seafood markets, and marine habitats do exist, and these can provide evidence and experience to support further improvements in fisheries management and governance.

We will show that, by helping fishers become stewards of the marine environment as well as effective food producers, we can restore the health of Britain’s blue coastal margin up to the six-mile limit, creating new jobs, invigorating communities, building biodiversity and sequestering more carbon dioxide.  We will identify practices that scale by replication rather than by expansion, and which allow entire communities to benefit from economic regeneration.