Ling Cao Awarded Grant to Investigate China’s Offshore Aquaculture Development and Marine Conservation

Ling Cao, Ph.D., associate professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, has been selected by the Pew Charitable Trusts to join the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. As one of eight international scientists and conservationists awarded, Cao will receive a grant of $150,000 over three years to address some of the most critical challenges facing marine conservation.

Increasing demand for seafood and stagnating domestic wild-capture fisheries in China have driven rapid growth of aquatic farming, or aquaculture, which now produces nearly 75 percent of the seafood consumed in the country. The increase in aquaculture has contributed to widespread degradation of coastal habitats. In response, the Chinese government is encouraging development of offshore aquaculture, in which farming occurs in open-ocean waters, but the full costs and benefits of this emerging practice remain unclear.

Ling Cao will provide scientific knowledge to improve site selection, design, and management of offshore aquaculture as China scales up production. Her work will improve understanding of the effects of this practice on ecosystems and livelihoods in China and help inform practices that can achieve greater fish production in sustainable ways.

“I would like to see a more science-based and sound plan for the development of offshore aquaculture that fulfills the goals of enhancing food security, recovering wild fisheries, and ameliorating coastal pollution,” Cao says. 

Cao joins Pew’s active community of 180 individuals in over 39 countries. Selected by an independent international committee composed of senior professionals in marine science and conservation, each fellow is recognized for their outstanding record of applying high-quality, evidence-based research to protect marine ecosystems and wildlife.

Learn more about Cao here.

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