Call for Papers: International Organic Aquaculture Workshop: Low-Food-Chain Candidate Species

The Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability Announces a Call for Papers
March 26, 2003

We invite you to participate in an organic aquaculture workshop focusing on evaluating and prioritizing low-food-chain species that are promising candidates for sustainable, and especially organic, aquaculture production. This workshop will convene in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 11-12, 2003.

As the number of carnivorous species in culture increases, reliance on marine fisheries resources to feed cultured organisms has also increased. Despite improvements to the diets of aquaculture species, many scientists question the long-term sustainability of pelagic fisheries intended for fishmeal and oil. Researchers are now exploring options to replace fishmeal with plant-based ingredients. Vegetarian feeds for carnivorous species are, however, still in early stages and require additional research to ensure that these do not adversely affect the aquatic animal's physiology and ultimate taste of the final seafood product.

The Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability (ISEES) is approaching this issue differently by convening a workshop to identify and evaluate naturally herbivorous and other low-food-chain aquatic species that do not require fishmeal and oil. These species, many unknown to seafood consumers in the United States, are cultured in diverse environments throughout the globe and provide a sustainable alternative to consuming carnivorous species. Furthermore, organic certification of these species should be easier, due to the ability to completely bypass the issue of pelagic species feed sustainability.

This workshop, sponsored by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Whole Foods Markets, Minnesota Sea Grant, the Culinary Program of the Art Institutes International and the University of Minnesota, builds on our first highly successful organic aquaculture workshop (held in 2000), which jump-started the most comprehensive dialog to date on organic aquaculture in the United States. The 2000 workshop report is on the ISEES website at

Workshop attendees will represent experts and practitioners in aquaculture and fisheries science, seafood marketing, organic production and certification, environmental conservation, and restauranteurs and chefs, in addition to other parties interested in the movement towards more sustainable forms of aquaculture production. Guest speakers will discuss opportunities and constraints for candidate species in a plenary session, followed by extensive opportunities to discuss with experts a variety of species in smaller, more intimate settings. As a group, workshop attendees will then discuss and prioritize a set of candidate low-food-chain species using a set of criteria under development by the workshop advisory committee (see committee roster). The workshop written proceedings will include recommendations for priority research and demonstration projects that encourage organic production and certification of the most suitable species.

Workshop attendees will also enjoy the first annual Organic Seafood Tasting Tour. This unique event, co-hosted by the Culinary Program of the Art Institutes International, will enable participants to sample candidate seafood species and enjoy a multi-course luncheon specially prepared by top local chefs and culinary students. Our master chefs will feature a number of candidate species discussed at the workshop making this an exceptional opportunity to explore new, sustainable possibilities for seafood markets.

Call for Papers-Abstracts due April 15th, 2003

In order to maximize the range of suitable aquatic animal species considered at this workshop, we invite oral presentations and posters on the state-of-the-art for production and marketing of low-food-chain species.

We invite authors to address as many of the following topics for a selected, or related group of species as possible. Topics include social, political, regulatory, economical, ecological opportunities and constraints for specific low-food-chain aquatic animals, production advancements such as domestication potential (for example, successful captive reproduction, time required to reach market size, degree of aggressive behavior, etc.), marketability of species (such as ease of processing and preparation, flesh quality after freezing, and cultural importance), and traits the animal possesses that may be considered hazardous (i.e., concern about nuisance species) if the aquatic animal is raised outside its native waters should be included, if known.

We encourage submissions of abstracts addressing any cultured aquatic animals throughout all regions of the world that are considered low-food-chain species. Regarding finfish, this workshop will consider a species to be low-food-chain if it is rated as 3.0 or lower on the Fishbase trophic scale ( These species include planktivores, benthivores, insectivores, detritivores, herbivores and omnivores that require little to no fishmeal and oil in their diets.

Oral presentations at the workshop will be 10 minutes long, plus discussion, during breakout sessions. Poster presentations are encouraged. Abstracts will be due April 15th, 2003.

Abstracts for review are limited to 300 words. An electronic version is preferred. Please include your name, affiliation, mailing address, e-mail address telephone and whether you prefer to give an oral or poster presentation.

Authors will be notified by May 1st, 2003 regarding the status of their abstract. Accepted abstracts will be included in a workshop packet that will be sent to all workshop participants prior to the workshop and will appear in the final proceedings. Registration fees will be waived for all oral and poster presenters.

Submit abstracts to:
E-mail: Deborah Brister at:
Mail disk and hardcopy to:
Deborah Brister
Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability
University of Minnesota
186 McNeal Hall
1985 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-6142

Abstracts are due April 15th, 2003.

Visit the ISEES website at:
or contact Deborah Brister by e-mail at: or by phone: 612-624-7723.

International Organic Aquaculture Workshop Low-Food-Chain Candidate Species 2003 Workshop Advisory Committee:

Devin Bartley, Fishery Resources Officer, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (Italy); Stefan Bergleiter, Section Aquaculture Manager, Naturland (Germany); Deborah Brister, Sustainable Aquaculture Program Manager, Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability ; Jason Clay, Vice President, Center for Conservation Innovation, World Wildlife Federation; Peter Edwards, Professor
Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand); Rebecca Goldburg, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense; Howard Johnson, President
H.M. Johnson & Associates, Anne Kapuscinski, Director Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability; Steven Parkes, National Seafood Buyer, Whole Foods Markets; Carl Safina, President, Blue Ocean Institute; Andrew Simons, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota;
Vikki Spruill, President, SeaWeb; Brian Stenquist, Facilitator, Meeting Challenges; Albert Tacon, Consultant, Aquatic Farms Ltd.; Bernd Uberschär,
Project Manager, Institute of Marine Research, Kiel, (Germany), FishBase