Your browser is out of date. It may not display all features of this websites. We recommend to use one of these browsers or versions Mozila Firefox or Google Chrome

Connect
To Top

Sustained by the sea

By: Reading Time: 4 Minutes
Previous Article Food School: red bananas

Providing food for the world’s growing population is a perennial problem. Is it possible to find a way to reap the harvest of the oceans today and sustain this vital resource for tomorrow?

In an ever-growing, hungry world could our oceans be the answer to feeding us in the future? The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GLOPAN) has published a new policy brief calling on food industry policymakers worldwide to focus on aquaculture for sustainable, healthy nutrition.

Could our oceans feed us in the future? Sustainable

Image: adobestock.com , naoko

Fish and other aquatic foods are among the most traded food commodities globally. The fastest growing agricultural sub-sector, its global production is projected to reach 105 million tons per year by 2029. “Aquaculture has a clear role to play in supporting the challenge of providing healthy diets which are produced more sustainably, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. However, it is often overlooked in the global discourse on food system transformation,” said GLOPAN’s chair, Sir John Beddington.
WorldFish, an international, non-profit institution that creates, advances, and translates aquatic food systems science into scalable solutions contributed research for the policy brief. Its director general Dr Gareth Johnstone said: “Aquatic foods offer a critical solution for the two billion people worldwide who suffer the triple burden of malnutrition, with women and children poised to benefit most.
“As we move toward the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit this year, evidence-based recommendations must guide policy development to ensure aquatic foods are an essential part of a food systems transformation for healthy people and planet. Sustainable aquaculture – as an important component of aquatic food systems – is critical to meeting shared national and global aspirations for establishing healthy, nutritious, sustainable, and inclusive food systems capable of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

What does sustainable aquaculture mean?

Image: Chaiyapruek – stock.adobe.com

Safeguarding stocks

At a time when we are all made aware of the importance of safeguarding fish stocks from over fishing, the brief demonstrates how aquaculture can accelerate economic growth, provide employment opportunities, improve food security, and deliver an environmentally sustainable source of good nutrition for millions of people. With sustainable management, aquaculture could viably support capture fisheries alongside more sustainable practices and help reduce our reliance on terrestrial protein sources.
In February the Canadian government announced it was spending $7m on satellite technology to track down dark vessels. These are ships that switch off their location transmitting devices, sometimes in an attempt to evade monitoring, control and surveillance. Internationally, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing contributes hugely to the decline of fish stocks and marine habitat destruction. This inevitably has an impact on the livelihoods of legitimate fish harvesters.
The program will provide state-of-the-art satellite data and analysis to coastal states worldwide where IUU fishing has a major impact on local economies, food security and the health of fish stocks.

What does breeding of marine and freshwater fish under artificial conditions using mechanical and bio-chemical means? Sustainable restaurant

Image: Landrover Tour 2019 | Craig Pusey

Transparency is key

Thai Union, one of the world’s largest seafood companies with brands including Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch, has joined up with The Nature Conservancy – a leading global conservation organization – to ensure full supply chain transparency in its global tuna fisheries. This step demonstrates the company’s commitment to eradicating IUU malpractices, which have serious repercussions for everything from overfishing of dwindling tuna stocks, to unsustainable levels of bycatch of at-risk sea life like sharks and sea turtles. The lack of adequate monitoring also contributes to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues for local fishing communities and national governments alike.
Due to the continuing suspension of at-sea monitoring happening globally, due to Covid-19, this commitment is more significant and timely than ever. Not only has fishing continued during the pandemic (a recent study estimated that Covid-19 has reduced fishing efforts by just 4%), the pandemic has in fact sparked a surge in the purchase of canned tuna all over the world.
“Thai Union has made significant strides in making sustainability a key attribute of our company, from the creation of our global sustainability strategy, SeaChange® (an integrated plan of initiatives to drive meaningful improvements across the entire global seafood industry) to partnering with leading organisations like The Nature Conservancy,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, president & CEO of Thai Union.
“We understand that change does not happen in a vacuum, it is through collaboration and partnership that we shape the future. Change takes more than a wish and well-crafted words, those that are in a leadership position must define the path forward through actions and results. I look forward to the sustainable future Thai Union and TNC can help create through increased electronic monitoring and transparency throughout the seafood industry.” John Reed FCSI Associate and management advisory services (MAS) foodservice consultant in the US considers sustainability of the supply of seafood is important to operators and consumers all over the world. “Sustainability is only one part of that process and purchasing consideration in the supply chain,” he says. “Seafood traceability has been a major focus for many years, and it has been challenging to define a true system due to the nature of commodity, an untamed natural species. Fish farming, whether at sea or land-locked systems is still an engineered product based on mechanical and bio-chemical systems. Ultimately it will be up to the consumer to decide if they are more concerned about making a difference to the environment by stopping illegal fishing practices or ignoring them and choosing a mass-produced commodity. The GLOPLAN briefing document is a clarion call to all decision-makers to think long-term and sustainably about fisheries policy. Whether it is ensuring that diners in high-end restaurants continue to enjoy the riches of the sea in or enabling poorer communities in coastal areas to earn a decent living now and in the future, consideration and care of the aquaculture system is of vital importance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Chef's Life

  • Mangosteen: the queen of fruits

    This exotic fruit owes its lofty nickname to Queen Victoria, the second longest-ruling British monarch: Legend has it that Victoria promised...

    Rolling PinJuly 22, 2021
  • Do (not) finish me off

    The sound and not-so-young convenience production industry is finally speaking up for itself. Why they feels so at home in their...

    Lucas Palm - RollingPinJune 15, 2021
  • Bread and games

    If you want to know how to make 90,000 people happy in the shortest amount of time, ask Stefan Pappert. After...

    Heike LucasJune 10, 2021
  • Best Chefs of Instagram 2021

    Haute cuisine meets snackable content: the perfect mix! It's not just in kitchens around the world that things are bubbling, simmering...

    KTCHNrebel Editorial TeamJune 7, 2021
  • Mycology: the trumpet of death

    At first glance, this edible mushroom is rather off-putting to laymen due to its sooty grey to black color. But this...

    Alexandra Embacher - Falstaff ProfiMay 20, 2021
  • “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

    The trip to Hiša Franko takes you along winding country roads and follows the turquoise Soča River through a valley with...

    Ilona MarxMay 14, 2021
  • Food School: Moai Caviar

    The light green sea grape with a crisp bite: Moai Caviar. If you're looking for a plant-based alternative to fish roe,...

    Alexandra Gorsche - Falstaff ProfiMay 11, 2021
  • Organic Garden

    Rethinking the food cycle with Organic Garden. From the farm to the plate, everything from a single source – that's how...

    Alexandra Gorsche - Falstaff ProfiMay 3, 2021
  • Tour de Beef

    Farmers and producers in all corners of the world are playing around with creating the absolute best steak on the planet,...

    Lucas Palm - Rolling PinApril 29, 2021