Offshore aquaculture in the United States: Untapped potential in need of smart policy

By Sarah E. Lester, Rebecca R. Gentry, Carrie V. Kappel, Crow White, and Steven D. Gaines:

“The United States had a $14 billion seafood trade deficit in 2016, importing more than 2.5 million tons of edible fishery products, 90% of the value of the seafood Americans eat. Half of those seafood imports are from aquaculture. Meanwhile, demand in the United States for local, fresh, and sustainably produced seafood is growing, and the absence of sufficient local supply to meet this demand clearly represents a lost opportunity for sustainability and economic growth. Expanded domestic seafood production in the United States could promote significant economic development and job creation. Yet, wild-fishery production has only a relatively modest potential for sustainable growth. Aquaculture, therefore, represents the only realistic option for expanding domestic production.”

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Comparative terrestrial feed and land use of an aquaculture-dominant world

By Halley E. Froehlich, Claire A. Runge, Rebecca R. Gentry, Steven D. Gaines, and Benjamin S. Halpern:

“Studies are revealing the potential benefits of shifting human diets away from meat and toward other protein sources, including seafood. The majority of seafood is now, and for the foreseeable future, farmed (i.e., aquaculture). As the fastest-growing food sector, fed aquaculture species increasingly rely on terrestrial-sourced feed crops, but the comparative impact of aquaculture versus livestock on associated feed and land use is unclear––especially if human diets shift. Based on global production data, feed use trends, and human consumption patterns, we simulate how feed-crop and land use may increase by midcentury, but demonstrate that millions of tonnes of crops and hectares could be spared for most, but not all, countries worldwide in an aquaculture-dominant future.”

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