• Image of large fishfarm


From global ideals to local realities - the foundations of sustainability

Creating robust indicators for sustainability is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary task.

SUSTAIN-FISH will start by charting existing standards and indicators available for defining sustainable production in aquaculture, on a global, national and industry level. It will take as its vantage point all three commonly identified aspects of sustainability (environmental, economic and social) and target standards and indicators created by international, national and local actors to which the aquaculture industry (especially Atlantic salmon) is subject by law or necessity (WP 1).

In consultation with actors from the aquaculture industry, SUSTAINFISH will then investigate how individual firms in the industry experience and implement these existing standards (WP 2). This work will be done through case studies in three key salmon aquaculture countries (Norway, Chile and Scotland), and by a qualitative comparative questionnaire.

Building on WPs 1 and 2, SUSTAINFISHs WP 3 will examine how different institutional contexts and actor capabilities impact the regulatory framework and the effect this has on competitiveness and on achieving sustainability. This will be a comparative study of the three countries.

In WP 4, SUSTAIN FISH will use relevant literature and expert evaluation to analyze the existing package of standards and indicators to identify: 1) whether existing indicators fit together well or are conflictual; 2) whether and how these meet industry and management needs; and 3) what aspects of sustainability are not represented in the existing packages (gaps). Gaps will be identified with respect to declared governmental policy as well as with respect to external (disciplinary) evaluations of what aspects of sustainability should be covered.


SAMS contribution

The SAMS contribution is made through Dr Karen Alexander, who has since moved to the University of Tasmania but continues to deliver this project for SAMS.

Primary objectives

Create a comprehensive overview of existing standards and indicators covering the three aspects of sustainability

Evaluate the existing sets of indicators

Establish how industry experiences and implements standards and indicators

Identify implementation issues at the level of the firm, including unmet industry needs

Identify how actor capacity impacts framework of standards and indicators and how this impacts competitiveness

Identify gaps in the existing framework of indicators and provide policy advice

Secondary objectives

Determine whether a comprehensive regime for Salmon aquaculture sustainability exists

Improve understanding of state capacity in the three countries

Compare industry response across different institutional contexts

Improve research relations with Chile and establish these with Scotland

Strengthen the social science input to studies of aquaculture

Further develop expertise in interdisciplinary research