Fish is an ideal food to feed our growing planet. It is a high protein, low fat, healthy and nutritionally rich food. Fish also happens to be one of the most efficient converters of Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations into high quality food, it has a lower carbon footprint and uses fewer resources than other animal production systems.
However, traditional methods of wild capture fishing can’t possibly meet the demand. Fishing resources are finite and 86% of marine fish stocks are either fully exploited or overfished. Even with sustainable practices, marine fishing has reached the limit of its supply.
Aquaculture is the solution. It has the capacity to meet global demand while reducing the pressure on wild capture fisheries. Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production system in the world and, more than half of the fish consumed globally already comes from aquaculture.
But the rapid rise in demand for farmed fish presents its own problems. When aquaculture is not well managed, it can have a range of adverse impacts, including poor site management, water pollution, disruption of local ecosystems and poor working conditions. The faster the aquaculture industry grows, the greater its potential impact on the environment and local communities.
Now is the time to address these issues. By promoting better managed fish farming we can meet the growing demand while minimising negative environmental and social impacts.