According to the United Nations, the world population surpassed 6.5 billion people in 2006. By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 9.1 billion. This imminent expansion in the global population poses new threats to our natural resources. The demands on our natural resources will increase with the increasing human population. Just as an increase in the number of people in the world requires more nurses, doctors and human health specialists, resource depletion fuels the need for professionals to address the demands and challenges our natural resources face in the future.
Approximately 87% of global fisheries are categorized as either fully exploited or over-exploited according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Out stewardship for these vitally important resources requires a new approach and progressive thinking. At Mansfield University, we tap the passion students have for protecting those great fishing spots they have come to cherish over the years and mold it into a scientific, objective and pragmatic set of skills to solve fisheries issues at both the local and global level.
While recognizing that the only means to protect our natural fish stocks is with better and more informed management, aquaculture or fish farming is a tool to supplement demands for some wild fisheries products. Thus, with exploitation rates in our oceans and freshwater ecosystems at epic highs, aquaculture will be the key to meet growing demands for more fisheries products.
Although aquaculture may add or potentially supplement some of the demands for seafood products, it must be conducted in a responsible manner. Mansfield University has a long history in supporting the development of responsible and innovative aquaculture operations through generation of skilled scientists that function in an applied manner, both in the public and private sector.