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What relevance has Sustainabilty to the Aquatic Environment?

Sadly, the aquatic environment particularly the freshwater habitat, ranks low in terms of priority and conservation management. With worldwide pressure on freshwater groundwater supplies due to an increased population and industry requirements tend to conflict with surface water drainage. There is an impact on both flora and fauna in the aquatic environment and in some cases species cannot evolve and adapt fast enough to the changing habitat, brought about by human development.

As a starting point the following statement should be a precursor to future planning methodology:-

'Advocating an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to human development and the aquatic environment with objectives set for ecological, economic and social balance in environmental design. A good starting point is by efficient planning and management of ecosystems to match local resources and market demand.'

Sustainability and Wetlands Conservation

Such applications apply to wetlands creation, productivity, enhancement and maintenance advocating to landowners and stakeholders the integration of wetlands, conservation and production strategies with profitable business.

There is a need for an integrated approach to wetlands design, development and management. This can be achieved by modeling ecological productivity and organic nutrient streams within the aquatic food chains. Such an analysis portrays potential productive outputs giving both value and worth to the ecosystem and hence greater protection for the environment.

As an example the circle tip wetland creation at the Earth Centre considered the concept of a productive aquaculture initiative alongside remediation and creation of a wetland floodplain.

Sustainability and Freshwater Fishes

Freshwater fishes conservation has only emerged over the last twenty years mainly by government funded projects. However, there are many cases of privately funded research identifying commercial opportunities. It could be asked if aquaculture as an industry did not exist, whether artemia the fish fry food would be useful. The tropical fish industry has added value and many cases contributed to the continued existence of many species thought to be endangered. Many millions of aquarist's around the world bear the burden of amateur inspired breeding programmes. And finally a thought for the unsung and normally underpaid hero's of fisheries and wildlife agencies whom everyday practise sustainability in their wildlife roles.

Captive breeding information for some species: [ Snakeheads of the World - a future foodfish? | Borneo Mouthbrooding Fighting Fish - Betta unimaculata (2.8 MB) | Malpulutta kretseri - The Rarity and the Isopod (4.1 MB) ]

and some Australian Native Fish organisations: [ Native Fish Australia | Australian Desert Fishes |
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia | Native Freshwater Fishes of South-Western Australia | South Australian Native Fish Association ]

Integrated Farming System (IFS)

The systems are well-known in developing countries particularly Asia where they have been in use for many hundreds of years. Innovative ecological waste treatment of commercial liquid waste streams as a waste resource for utilisation by aquaculture operations.

Integrated farming utilising organic waste streams for feed and energy input to cultured animals whilst using waste output as a horticulture resource.

[References: Chinese fish polyculture information | An example of IFS system by George Chan | Food And Agriculture Organisation | Integrated Bio-Systems - Zero Emissions Applications | Duckweed aquaculture]

Sustainability and Education in the Aquatic Environment

Many public aquariums have initiated innovative themes and in many cases native fish breeding programmes with support from specialist groups (listed above). Recreational leisure pursuits including angling, water quality, river and lake environmental health and pondkeeping. References:

[Exhibitions: The Earth Centre - Nature Works | Water Works]

© 2013 Fishace