Aquaculture – Future-Proof Food
The world population is set to rise from 7 billion now to 9 billion by 2050.
Seafood accounts for 17% of the global intake of animal protein and supports 10% of the population.
Capture fisheries will not be able to meet increased demand from population growth as
29% of the world’s oceans are currently overfished and only 10% of global wild caught seafood comes from MSC certified (sustainable) fisheries.
Although the proportion of fisheries operating under MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) or equivalent sustainable principles continues to rise, it is estimate that up to 30% of all landings are UUL – Unregulated, Unreported or illegal. A quantity large enough to undermine the slow progress being made to become fully sustainable by regulated fisheries.
Ref: FAO State of world Fisheries and Aquaculture Report 2014
The need for aquaculture
The worldwide need for protein cannot met by land farming, as no more land is available for agriculture and yields are no longer rising. If humans are to continue to eat animal protein, the proportion of fish and seafood must increase. The oceans are already at peak production so aquaculture, which already supplies 50% of all fish and seafood consumed, must increase.
But not at any price. There are now Aquaculture standards for most farmed fish species and a system of ASC certified (Aquaculture standards) are being developed. Intensive fish farming methods harm the environment and this is no longer acceptable.
The future is bright but will consumers and therefore chefs demand better standards?
A recent survey by MSC had the following conclusions
UK consumers eat more fish in restaurants than they cook at home.
These consumers are becoming well aware of MSC labelling and sustainability issues.
Leading supermarkets and big consumer fish brands are insisting on MSC labelled fish only.
When eating out, these consumers will expect chefs to provide information and proof of sustainable fish purchases.