Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 203796, 18 pages
Research Article

Scoping a Public Health Impact Assessment of Aquaculture with Particular Reference to Tilapia in the UK

1Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, Centre for Public Health and Population Health Research, University of Stirling, Scotland, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
2Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Scotland, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
3Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, Scotland, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
4Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Scotland, Glasgow G12 9LX, UK
5Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto, ON, Canada M1C 1A4

Received 19 October 2011; Accepted 30 November 2011

Academic Editor: C. Banwell

Copyright © 2012 Andrew Watterson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The paper explores shaping public health impact assessment tools for tilapia, a novel emergent aquaculture sector in the UK. This Research Council’s UK Rural Economy and Land Use project embraces technical, public health, and marketing perspectives scoping tools to assess possible impacts of the activity. Globally, aquaculture produced over 65 million tonnes of food in 2008 and will grow significantly requiring apposite global public health impact assessment tools. Methods. Quantitative and qualitative methods incorporated data from a tridisciplinary literature. Holistic tools scoped tilapia farming impact assessments. Laboratory-based tilapia production generated data on impacts in UK and Thailand along with 11 UK focus groups involving 90 consumers, 30 interviews and site visits, 9 visits to UK tilapia growers and 2 in The Netherlands. Results. The feasibility, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses of creating a tilapia Public Health Impact Assessment are analysed. Occupational and environmental health benefits and risks attached to tilapia production were identified. Conclusions. Scoping public health impacts of tilapia production is possible at different levels and forms for producers, retailers, consumers, civil society and governmental bodies that may contribute to complex and interrelated public health assessments of aquaculture projects. Our assessment framework constitutes an innovatory perspective in the field.