Responsible managed oceans could provide six times more food than today (Video)
Thursday, November 21, 2019, 19:40 (GMT + 9)
If fisheries and aquaculture are managed sustainably, the oceans could provide more than six times food than they do today. This represents more than two thirds of future protein needs worldwide, and with a much smaller carbon footprint than many other foods. Sustainable marine aquaculture, or mariculture, stands out as the area with the greatest growth potential.
This is the main conclusion of a new report, the first of a series of 16 blue documents, presented by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy at a UN conference on sustainable fisheries held in Rome.
"This is another example that seafood products are the answer to environmental and public health challenges and have enormous potential for a sustainable and transparent fishing industry," says Bjorn Erik Stabell, director of the Sea Products Council of Norway in Spain.
This report joins others who have targeted seafood products as part of the response:
• Food as a solution to the climate crisis
• The Coller FAIRR 2019 report classifies Norwegian salmon as the most sustainable among the world's largest protein producers
• Ocean agriculture can help preserve global ecosystems
Food production, key in the solution to the climate crisis
"In a world where consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental problems and the vegetarian trend is accelerating, we all have a responsibility to defend seafood as part of the solution," says Stabell.
The growing scientific evidence, which highlights the need to produce more food in the oceans to address the climate crisis and secure food in the future, is therefore consistent with consumer trends.
Food security and sustainability are growing concerns for fish and seafood consumers. Increasingly, people want to know where the food comes from and also if it is produced in the most sustainable way possible. "We are moving away from responsible and transparent production as something that is valued if you have to enter a world where it is necessary to be able to demonstrate and talk about it," says Stabell.
Only half of those surveyed in the 2019 NSC Fish and Seafood Consumer Index said they had consumed recommended amounts of fish and shellfish. This is the largest annual survey of consumers of seafood products in the world, which maps preferences and trends among more than 25,000 respondents from up to 25 markets.
“Our studies show that only half of respondents eat the recommended amounts of fish and seafood and consumption is declining in many developed markets. This is worrisome and should be addressed by health authorities, retailers and producers. Not only for our own health, but also for that of the planet, ”Stabell explains.
“In Spain, fish consumption has declined, especially among young people. This is a challenge for the industry and the health of the population, since fish is a very important part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, ”he adds.