Aquaculture technologies are developing quickly for land-based or onshore aquaculture. Recirculated aquaculture systems (RAS) are among a suite of emerging technologies in land-based aquaculture focused on increasing food production whilst aiming to reduce negative environmental effects of aquaculture. Despite optimism about the potential for RAS aquaculture production, questions about RAS production methods are beginning to emerge. In turn, such questions trigger a question about the role social acceptability in the extent to which RAS-based industries can establish and expand. This has not been addressed in the literature and is explored in this paper by using current understanding of social acceptability to analyse potential issues for RAS. We found that social concerns about negative environmental effects are not expected to offer the same challenges that apply to existing inshore aquaculture. However, competition for land, and energy costs and their carbon footprint are key issues the industry will need to consider where expansion is pursued. Social acceptability, however, is not only a matter of specific concerns but core determining factors for social acceptability – legitimacy, credibility, and their role in trust – must be considered.
Research Hub Investigator(s)
Fudge, M., Higgins, V., Vince, J. and Rajaguru, R., 2023. Social acceptability and the development of commercial RAS aquaculture. Aquaculture, p.739295.
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