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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Conservation Aquaculture Research Team

Science to guide a burgeoning food sector toward a future that works with conservation goals

Aquaculture, or the farming of aquatic plants and animals, has become a significant contributor to the global diet and is the world’s fastest growing food sector.

The Conservation Aquaculture Research Team (CART) is a team of experts and analysts in ocean conservation, fisheries, and aquaculture with the mission of guiding this burgeoning food sector toward a future in which the industry works with, rather than against, conservation goals.

Aquaculture currently accounts for over half of the seafood people eat globally. Its total production is set to surpass that of all wild-caught fisheries – including the fish used for other purposes, such as animal feed – by 2025.

Despite this booming demand for farmed seafood, knowledge on how to farm our oceans sustainably, especially while meeting conservation goals, is limited. NCEAS helped launch CART to address this need.

Using synthesis science, CART researchers are seeking answers to the following questions:

  • How can the industry better use offshore locations to support aquaculture sustainably?

  • How does aquaculture compare to other global food systems in terms of its capacity for sustainability and meeting consumer demand?

  • How might climate change affect aquaculture production?

CART is the new face of aquaculture science, one that works to inform the industry with the best available science for a sustainable future.

Hero image courtesy Cynthia Sandoval/NOAA

Charting the Future of Seafood

This visual essay explains the motivation behind CART.