Feeding future generations.
Terrestrial agriculture alone cannot support this increased demand, and wild fisheries are reaching their limit – even the best management programs will not enable them to keep pace. Capture fishery landings have not increased appreciably for 30 years, and the anticipated impacts on wild fish populations from climate change make it less likely that wild stocks will be able to withstand additional harvest pressure.
is Fast Approaching
Increase in Population
Billion More People to Feed
Increase In Need for Protein
How will we increase food supply while minimizing environmental impacts?
Pacific Ocean AquaFarms (POA) believes that offshore marine aquaculture must play a critical role in meeting this enormous challenge. The ocean covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface, yet it currently produces less than 2% of the world’s food supply. Alternative ways to responsibly utilize the ocean’s potential are therefore essential.
Seafood is one of the healthiest foods on the planet – it is high protein, low fat and nutritionally rich – and marine aquaculture is one of the most resource-efficient and environmentally friendly ways to produce it. Compared to other forms of animal protein production, marine aquaculture requires:
• Less fresh water
• Less land area
• Less feed for the resulting protein yield
• Less energy and fossil fuel for production
• Less generation of climate threatening gases
Advancing marine aquaculture in the United States.
Around the world, nations are investing heavily in sustainable aquaculture to meet the increasing demand and boost their seafood security. Aquaculture is already a vital food solution globally, with the fastest growth rate of any food production method.
The U.S., however, needs to increase its aquaculture production. We are the fourth largest consumer of seafood in the world and the single largest importer of seafood. With our own wild fisheries at or near maximum sustainable yield, we rely on other countries for over 90% of the seafood we consume. The bulk of this is caught or farmed in other countries but a portion is domestically sourced, exported for processing, and then reimported. This reliance on other countries not only contributes to a substantial trade deﬁcit (over $16.8 billion annually), it threatens our future food security, exports jobs, puts consumers at the mercy of foreign regulation and farming practices for the quantity, quality and safety of the seafood we eat, and increases the carbon footprint of our seafood.
Recognizing this imperative, POA is proud to advance sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States. By working with research institutions, government agencies, scientists, environmentalists, and practicing fishermen and farmers, we’re developing a model for offshore aquaculture that will produce healthful seafood, create local jobs and support working waterfronts – guided by responsible ocean stewardship and diligent consideration for the environment.
– Jacques-Yves Cousteau
DO IT HERE. DO IT RIGHT. DO IT NOW.
AGRICULTURE ALONE CANNOT SUPPORT INCREASED DEMAND
Americans are among the highest-volume consumers of meat on the planet, but the amount of resources (land and fresh water) needed to produce beef, pork, and chicken at scale are not sustainable, and land alterations for and emissions from livestock are a major source of human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
• 80% forest loss due to agriculture
• 70% fresh water used for agriculture
• 13% global emissions from agriculture
It is unlikely that high-input, resource-intensive farming systems – which have been blamed for deforestation, depletion of land and water resources, loss of biodiversity and high levels of GHG emissions – will deliver sustainable agricultural production.
Adequately feeding an increasing population that demands more resource-intensive food while also accommodating an increasing demand for agricultural raw materials and bioenergy will require a significant expansion in agricultural output. At the same time, already depleted land and water resources are increasingly under pressure, while unsustainable agricultural practices and other human activities jeopardize biodiversity and ecosystems in general.
Even though agriculture at the global level has become more efficient, expanding food production and economic growth have often come at the cost of the natural environment. In fact, almost half of the forests that once covered the planet are now gone, groundwater sources are increasingly under pressure, biodiversity has been severely eroded and bodies of water and groundwater have been polluted with nitrates, herbicides and pesticides.
If food and agricultural systems remain on their current path, the evidence points to a future characterized by persistent food insecurity and unsustainable economic growth.
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara
AQUACULTURE IS RESOURCE EFFICIENT
“From the standpoint of planetary health, surf is dramatically better than turf.”
Marine aquaculture provides an opportunity to increase our food supply without heavy reliance on land and freshwater resources. It can also increase our food supply with less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions . The ocean has the capacity to expand food production while relieving pressures on land that can otherwise be used for wildlife and natural ecosystem functions.
If we are going to feed ourselves, and reduce contributions to global warming and reduce the overall footprint of our seafood supply chain, the U.S. has to begin to expand its production of seafood from aquaculture.
An integrated program that combines responsible land-based agriculture with ocean-based aquaculture can support a long-term strategy to create a safe, secure, sustainable, and more resilient global food system.