Headline: Recirculation Aquaculture Systems. Sustainable Innovations in Organic Food Production?

EU regulations explicitly preclude recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) for aquaculture grow-out from organic certification because they are not close enough to nature (Regulation (EEC) No. 710/2009). Meanwhile, according to another EU regulation, one criterion for organic food production is its contribution to sustainable development (Regulation (EEC) No. 834/2007). Against this background, one might argue that in spite of their distance to nature RAS are innovative solutions to sustainability issues in food production. The paper will deal with the claim that RAS for aquaculture could be one innovative solution to sustainability issues. In this respect, the picture is ambivalent. In the past, the organic movement (OM) has searched for innovative alternatives to industrial forms of agriculture and food production that are non-sustainable. Hence, the majority of the OM does not feel fit to support industrial RAS, even though one might argue that these systems comply with many of the European OM’s founding principles. While there are potential positive effects for a sustainable development, we might still regard these systems as techno-scientific solutions to social problems. This paper discusses innovation narratives related to RAS from the perspective of post-normal innovation critique. It first presents potential contribution to a more sustainable food sector. It then contrasts these arguments within critical assessments of innovation narratives for sustainable development. Finally, the paper concludes by discussing moral challenges of RAS for the OM’s self-conception.

Publication Year
2019
Publication Type
Academic Articles
Citation

Meisch, S., Stark, M. (2019): Recirculation Aquaculture Systems. Sustainable Innovations in Organic Food Production? - Food ethics: a journal of the societies for agricultural and food ethics, 4, 1, p. 67-84.DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s41055-019-00054-4

DOI
10.1007/s41055-019-00054-4
Staff involved
Projects involved
Democratic (Re)Configurations of Sustainability Transformations