Aquaculture and Sustainable Seafood
Seafood brings benefits to both human health and the environment and can have an increasingly important role to play for a sustainable food future. Large variability of how different “blue foods” contribute and relate to environmental performance, nutritional qualities and food security pose challenges for policies aiming to steer the food system towards sustainability. However, this diversity also offers possibilities.
Seafood is important
One of the greatest challenges facing humanity today is how to feed a growing world population a healthy diet, produced in ways that do not threaten key Earth system processes. In 2015, fish accounted for about 17% of animal protein consumed globally, providing a substantial part of daily animal protein intake for more than 3 billion people. Projections on future seafood production suggest limited growth for the capture fisheries sector, implying that the anticipated increase in demand for seafood will have to be met by aquaculture. Aquaculture production has increased rapidly in recent decades, and today it produces more than half of all fish that we eat globally.
What role seafood will and can play for future foods remains to be seen, but the optimism is large, particularly when it comes to the role of oceans in sustainably expanding global food production. However, the increased understanding of interconnections between aquatic production and land resources, as well as how seafood production and consumption can result in unequal benefits, brings important perspectives for decisions on development pathways.
Research within the program focus on; a deepened understanding of the environmental performance of diverse seafood production; seafoods role for improving nutrition qualities and human health; analysis and development of seafood sustainability metrics; antibiotics in aquaculture production; the role of seafood for resilient food systems; market-based governance mechanisms, e.g., seafood eco-certification and seafood consumer behavior.