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Aquaculture is a natural part of human development throughout history and that modern, industrial aquaculture could strengthen its social and ecological roots by articulating its evolution along a sustainability trajectory and by adopting fully the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ecosystems approach to aquaculture. To meet seafood demands due to projected population growth to 2030, FAO (2009) has estimated that at least an additional 40 MMT of aquatic food will be required to maintain the current per capita consumption. This forecasts that world aquaculture production will exceed 90 million tons and surpass global capture fisheries production. However, criticisms have arisen around aquaculture, most of them related to the destruction of ecosystems such as mangrove forest to construct aquaculture farms, as well as the environmental impacts of the effluents on the receiving ecosystems. The inherent benefits of aquaculture such as massive food production and economical profits have led the scientific community to seek for diverse strategies to minimize the negative impacts, rather than just prohibiting the activity.

This newly edition ‘Aquaculture in the Ecosystem’ brings together research results and reviews of the world aquaculture and its environmental impacts. It analyzes the situation of aquaculture production up to date and summarizes the main problems faced by the activity, as well as the strategies suggested, evaluated, and proven to contribute to achieve a sustainable activity. Contributions are from internationally recognized experts representing different regions of the world and providing a wide range of expertise in the areas of aquaculture environmental, social and economic issues contributed scientific discussions and papers on various aspects of the ecosystem approach to aquaculture. This volume covers all aspects of the management and development of fisheries and is designed to ensure that they are developed sustainable without adversely affecting the livelihoods of local communities that share the same resources as the fisheries.