Having recently entered the Chinese Year of the Goat. I checked whether there is ‘Year of the Fish’ in the Chinese animal zodiac – there isn’t. I was disappointed because of all the animals one could choose to associate with China, fish should be top on the list.
Knowing whether aquaculture in developing countries helps the poorest in communities is an important question for development agencies who want to make pro-poor investments.
Historically, there have been two arguments that it does not.
First, to be a fish farmer you need to have a certain amount of wealth, so the poorest are unable to become producers. Second, aquaculture tends to produce larger, high-value fish that are too expensive for the poorest consumers.
Mike Velings, founder and managing partner of Aquaspark, guest blogs about social-impact investing in small-scale aquaculture.
In August 2010, I attended a lecture by Stephen Hall on aquaculture in Chicago. To say the least, I expected the room of environmentalists to be uninspired given aquaculture’s subpar reputation.