Seafood for the Future’s mission is to promote and facilitate the growth and expansion of responsible marine aquaculture in U.S. state and federal waters as a complement to well-managed wild-capture fisheries.We envision a world where safe, sustainable (economic, social, environmental) seafood is available to provide nutritious food to everyone. To ensure a safe, secure, and sustainable supply of healthful seafood, the U.S. needs to complement its well-managed wild fisheries with responsible marine aquaculture that produces shellfish, seaweed, and finfish. Farmers will leverage a diverse portfolio of methods to ensure their operations are suitable to the specific environmental and economic conditions, as well as the social dynamics of the communities in which they are farming. Seafood for the Future provides a platform for diverse stakeholders to convene and collaborate to work toward this shared vision.
The U.S. has the science, technology, and knowledge of best practices to farm seafood in the ocean to support healthy ocean ecosystems and people.
Meeting the Demand
The world population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that food production will have to increase by 70 percent to meet the growing demand, while adapting to climate change and combating global hunger and poverty. Currently, more than half of the ice-free land has been modified for human use, the majority of which is used for agriculture. Agriculture production accounts for more than 70 percent of all fresh water resource use. Despite this, more than 800 million people are chronically undernourished. The ocean covers more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, yet wild fisheries and a small marine aquaculture sector produce less than 2 percent of the global food supply. One way to meet growing seafood demand, while minimally impacting the environment, is to expand marine aquaculture. Well-designed and well-managed marine aquaculture farms that use best management practices can provide seafood to improve human health and create economic development without unacceptable environmental impacts.
Marine aquaculture is an efficient form of animal protein production and is an attractive option for expanding production. It can be produced using fewer resources (land and fresh water) relative to other animal proteins. There are also ecosystem benefits associated with farming of shellfish and seaweed that are well documented. These farms can provide habitat, clean the water column and absorb carbon dioxide to buffer ocean acidification. Farming native oysters can benefit the environment by developing reefs to protect estuaries and embayments from sea level rise.
A Note on Funding
Seafood for the Future is a program of the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific that relies on outside funding to maintain and further its efforts to promote healthy and responsible seafood. Any funds and/or sponsorships given to the program have no bearing on the scientific decision-making process on issues of sustainability for Seafood for the Future.