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Water footprints on Fishfarming: calculations on the production of the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

Grant number: 13/21198-3
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2014 - October 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Fishery Resources and Fishery Engineering
Principal Investigator:Julio Vicente Lombardi
Grantee:Julio Vicente Lombardi
Home Institution: Instituto de Pesca. Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Cacilda Thais Janson Mercante


Several indicators of ecological, economic and social sustainability have been proposed in recent years in studies related to water resources management. More recently, the scientific community has publicized the importance of studying the way that water is being used in the production of goods and processes in general. Therefore, there is a new concept known worldwide as "Water Footprint" which aims to determine the volume of virtual water "hidden" behind every product or process. The Water Footprint of a product can be expressed by the volume of water "consumed" in its production, taking into account the whole supply chain. Some food products from animal origin have been well studied in this regard. However, no related data is available for the aquaculture production chain. In the Instituto de Pesca / APTA / SAA - SP there is a pioneer team of scientific researchers who has been setting some primary studies in order to reveal the values of Water Footprints related to the supply chain of production of fish and other organisms in freshwater aquaculture. It is intended as a goal to establish a technological process of assessment in order to assist in the adjustment of conduct and the establishment of "Best Management Practices" as well as provide appropriate subsidies to the governance of the activity within an environmental responsibility in aquaculture. Due to complexity, studies will be conducted in step-modules and, at this moment, the fish farming activity was elected to serve as standard for sampling, specifically the culture of the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, because it is one of the more organized sectors within the aquaculture activity, which should favor the goal of determining a pattern for Water Footprint calculation which will be suitable to be applied and extended to other segments within the other types of aquaculture involving other species of aquatic organisms. Even within this same concept of modular steps, the present study was designed to perform the calculations of Water Footprints with specific focus on the growing phase of tilapia, as it is the main component of the supply chain of such fish, especially due to its greater participation in the whole use of water during the process of production. (AU)

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