Science in the S.E.A.A.: sustainable aquaculture meets live sea jellies

This year’s final instalment of Science in the S.E.A.A. saw Associate Professor Jennifer Cobcroft of James Cook University (JCU) Singapore speak about fisheries and aquaculture, and their relationship.

Fisheries harvest aquatic organisms from the sea whereas aquaculture refers to the farming of aquatic organisms for reasons such as enhancing regular stocking, feeding and protection from predators.

A/Prof Cobcroft shared that since the mid 1980s, the production capacity of wild capture fisheries has plateaued. With the world’s population projected to reach 9 billion in 2050, approximately 10 million tonnes of additional seafood will be needed by then. With a fast declining fish stock, world aquaculture of food grade fish will have to rise to meet the demand.

In 2010, about 50% of all fish and shellfish for human consumption was produced by aquaculture, with some of the most widely farmed species being salmon, sea bream and sea bass.

A/Prof Cobcroft also spoke about the importance of sustainable aquaculture, as well as some of the research on aquaculture done by James Cook University.

Our sea jelly aquarist Vivian Cavan wowed the audience with her captivating presentation on sea jellies.

Vivian sharing on the sea jellies’ unique life cycle.
Even the adults had plenty of questions for Vivian.
The kids were eager to take a closer look at the sea jellies.

We also brought out some sea jelly polyps (baby sea jellies) for the audience to take a closer look.

Here’s how they look like up-close:

Then we brought out two glass jars – one containing live sea jellies and one with plastic bags to show how similar they look at a glance, especially to marine animals in the open ocean.

This is why marine animals like sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for food.
The S.E.A.A. Aquarium Conservation Team with Vivian and the JCU team.

Apart from sharing the effects of such plastic pollution to our ocean environment, we also hope to inspire participants to question what’s on their plate. Overall the sharing sessions highlighted the importance of maintaining the world’s fisheries for the future generations to come and the role of aquaculture in doing so.

Our final Guardians of the S.E.A.A. event of the year is slated for December and it will be a very special appreciation night for all our members and partners. Stay tuned for details!

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