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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Warmwater Fish Production as a Niche Production and Market Diversification Strategy for Organic Arable Farmers

This research will develop technical guidelines for tilapia production, appropriate to integration within farms as a diversification strategy. The current knowledge/perceptions of industry and consumers will be examined, especially regarding sustainability including health benefits and food safety, costs and risks. Social and economic factors that may facilitate or obstruct consumers' propensity to access new products will be identified.

The comparative advantage of domestic production compared with the potential threat of imports will be explored and sustainability concerns on SME fish farming enterprise decision-making examined.

Research will be conducted both at Stirling University, with commercial partners, and along the marketing chain between producer and ultimate consumers. Techniques will involve mixed methods drawn from qualitative, quantitative and case study approaches from all the disciplines involved. These will include an assessment of production models derived from current and potential systems to identify costs and benefits of using organic, and/or traceable and locally produced feeds. Fish production units within conventional recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) will be compared with those managed as activated suspension technology units (AST) that promise to eliminate negative environmental impacts, improve efficiencies, enhance animal welfare and produce greater amenity value to rural areas. Market assessment will be explored by means of consumer focus groups and in-depth interviews with organisational channel members, including processors, retailers, foodservice and other relevant interest groups.

These components will feed into current understanding in respect of production and existing perceptions of food safety, health and dietary communications. Scoping exercises, use of environmental impact assessments (EIAs), environmental health impact assessments (EHIAs) and public health impact assessments (PHIAs) will be used.

A sustainability impact assessment (SIA) will then be worked up to help explore and present complex interactions and perhaps competing and conflicting results - drawing on natural and social sciences and tested by marketing. Stakeholder meetings will be used to inform those involved of the research design and outcomes and give opportunities for feedback to the research design and its use in the policy environment.

application/pdf Annex

Author: David Little Date: 14 May 2008 Full research report

Fish on the farm

Creator: David Little Date: 24 April 2008 Presentation/lecture

Tilapia UK…ok

Creator: David Little Date: 24 April 2008 Presentation/lecture

Tilapia UK…ok?

Creator: David Little Date: 24 April 2008 Presentation/lecture