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Governing cross-sector innovation for circular low trophic aquaculture

  • 25 September, 2023
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Policy
  • prof.dr. S.R. Bush
  • prof.dr.ir. L.W.A.. Klerkx

Both the mussel and seaweed sectors hold considerable potential to increase food production in a way that contributes to circular innovation that can maintain and even restore ecosystem function – including reduced nutrient loads, biodiversity, and even carbon sequestration. The aspiration to deliver both food and nature outcomes, while attributable to low-trophic aquaculture (LTA) production in general, requires coordinated innovation between a range of private and public sector actors. This range of actors place differing emphasis on LTA to deliver both food and wider ecosystems benefits in both nearshore and offshore environments, and may also be connected to other sectors, like offshore energy. While aspirations of exploring and investing in ‘circular’ LTA appear to be gaining traction in food system research, it is not clear if there is a common understanding of circularity of LTA across different spatial scales – from farm scale to the Dutch North Sea. It is also not clear how these different circular goals and aspirations can be translated into the design and innovation of LTA production system, how such cross-sector collaboration for circularity is organised, and what effects these have on the overall carrying capacity for LTA across nearshore and offshore environments. This project contributes to the governance of LTA innovation by examining the aspirations and goals of private and
public actors involved in the production, investment and regulation of mussel and seafood culture in the multi-use seascape of the North Sea.

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Sarah Veillat

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