Over the last decade, the need for a circular economy has emerged and is now pervading the day-to-day functioning of the economy. It is attracting increasing attention, will and action from economic and social actors, not only in the EU but also worldwide.
The definition of a circular economy is relatively simple: it is a system or set of systems that does not generate waste material and whose products today (whether they are consumable or usable immediately or even waste material) are the raw materials of the future. The current complex material and energy flow systems are primarily linear units (production-use-disposal), whereas in the circular economy, materials are recycled in various forms back to the production line. The circular economy, even before the term was coined, was instinctively practised by many families and individuals: composting and using kitchen waste as fertiliser at home, or separate collection of waste, are all part of this system, necessary but not sufficient solutions in themselves. Addressing the problem requires more complex, longer-term strategies and planning by all economic actors to make measurable progress (Henriksson et al., 2021).
In the agricultural sector, circular economy and farming is a priority, and there is already a clear move towards conscious thought and action, with the development and deployment of technologies offering different solutions well underway, but the principle of starting with the basics of production technology is the same in almost all sectors.
The aquaculture-angling aspects of the circular economy have recently begun to be examined at a general (global) level. The problem is still being identified and solutions explored primarily at the theoretical level, but pilot systems are being set up to analyse causes and possible solutions in real time and space (Chary et al., 2021).
At EU level, the aquaculture sector operates in an autonomous system, independent of agriculture, given the particular importance of marine fisheries, in particular those with "industrial characteristics". However, this approach cannot be applied to domestic, Central and Eastern European, pond-based fish production units and fishing ponds. Pond fish production and pond fishing cannot be separated from agriculture and the natural and built environment. They must be treated as one and only as such a complex entity can the complexity and simplicity of this system be understood (Muscat et al., 2021).
Materials and methods
The research was based on a 31-question questionnaire. This questionnaire aims to explore the popularity of the circulating system of angling ponds and, in addition to popularity, the attitude and openness of pond owners and pond keepers towards this issue. The research covers general knowledge as well as more specialised areas of knowledge and expertise.
The 56 completed questionnaires aim to develop a comprehensive picture of the attitudes of pond owners and managers towards the issue of pond management, which is representative of the current and potential future situation of the sector in the Hungarian angling sector.
Results and conclusion
A high percentage of those working in angling waters do not know what circular economy/ farming is (44.7%). The owners of angling ponds are reluctant to open up to circular systems, and in order to change this and to reach more people with this knowledge, it will be necessary to organise and hold awareness-raising lectures on this topic.
From the answers given to the practical questions in the questionnaire, it was found that 23% of pond managers do not carry out any water quality monitoring, which can have a significant impact on the success and sustainability of their business.
Focusing on agro -technical interventions, it was found that 13.6% of respondents do not use any interventions on their water bodies. The majority of respondents are not concerned with the quality and quantity of feeds (baits) applied to the water, despite being mostly aware of their harmful effects.
The last and one of the most important observations in the research is the question of education and training. Only a certain percentage (35.8%) of fishing pond managers have some form of education, a lack of knowledge and skills that may be fundamental to the management of problems and the use of technologies. 77% of the respondents would like to participate in further training on angling issues and are open to the learning process.
Historically and based on tradition, aquaculture, and within it pond fish farming, represents and embodies a significant part of the principles of the circular economy. A significant proportion of the fishing pond s in Hungary fall into this category - pond farming - and the findings on fish farming are therefore also applicable to these ponds in general. In addition, this sector is in an excellent position with regard to the various emission standards (emission limit values). Considering that the EU’s objective of achieving sustainable agriculture will be a mandatory requirement for agriculture, the angling and pond farming sector is at an advantage. This advantage needs to be reviewed and developed in a targeted way, based on basic information, a thorough mapping of the initial situation and a careful definition of development proposals.
The work is supported by the iFishIENCi project (European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818036).
Chary, K, van Riel, A-J., Filgueira , R, Wilfart , A., Harchaoui , S., Muscat, A., Verdegem , M., de Boer, I, Wiegertjes , G. (2021) Translating circular economy principles to aquaculture. - Circularity@WUR 12/04/21 – online workshop.
Henriksson , P. J. G., Troell, M., Banks, L. K., Belton, B., Beveridge, M. C. M., Klinger, D. H., Pelletier, N., et al. (2021) Interventions for improving the productivity and environmental performance of global aquaculture for future food security. One Earth, 4: 1220–1232. Elsevier Inc.
Muscat, A., de Olde, E. M., Ripoll-Bosch, R., Van Zanten , H. H. E., Metze , T. A. P., Termeer , C. J. A. M., van Ittersum , M. K., et al. (2021) Principles, drivers and opportunities of a circular bioeconomy. Nature Food 2021 2:8, 2: 561–566. Nature Publishing Group.