FOOD FOR THE FUTURE
– Norman Borlaug
Even with our current global population and worldwide food production, over 800 million inhabitants of our planet are undernourished. With continued population growth and the expansion of the middle-class internationally, the impacts will be felt closer to home if we continue to rely on imports from other countries.
To feed ourselves and help ensure our domestic food security, the U.S. has to expand its domestic production of seafood from aquaculture, and do it soon.
In doing so we can:
- Produce animal protein in the single most sustainable manner.
- Incorporate stringent safeguards through U.S. regulatory standards to ensure the quality, safety and eco-friendliness of the food we eat.
- Assist in the ongoing challenge to reduce pressure on our wild fisheries.
- Responsibly leverage the domestic opportunity provided by the world’s largest contiguous EEZ.
“Aquaculture is the most ecologically appropriate way to grow animal protein for human consumption.”
– Conservation International
*Source: San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. – 2015
Aquaculture offers much more than providing healthful seafood. Coastal communities and their economies are seeing working waterfronts encroached on by development, and commercial fishing infrastructure is being threatened by declining catches.
Aquaculture can help reinvigorate working waterfronts and preserve them for commercial fishing. Each operation will result in economic development – creating new jobs and opportunities – not just for fishermen, but for vendors, suppliers, distribution networks, etc. It promises a new domestic industry with ripple effects to benefit coastal communities, and it promises to help reduce the national trade deficit and dramatically curb the carbon footprint of seafood.
The economic impacts, coupled with developing a new source of local, healthful, low-impact food, are too promising to ignore:
- Provide economic development and jobs.
- Preserve and invigorate working waterfronts.
- Catalyze a new domestic industry.
- Create synergies with wild fishing industry.
- Offset national trade deficit.
- Enhance domestic food security.
- Reduce seafood’s carbon footprint.
- Inform improvements to global food production.
The local economic opportunities are significant:
- It is projected that annual harvests will provide from $40 to $50 million in dockside value and an estimated new annual spending of over $100 million.
- This one farm alone will increase California’s commercial seafood landings by over 20%, and over 10 years of operation will contribute in excess of $90 million in state and federal taxes.*
- The operation will utilize domestic seafood processing and distribution infrastructure, thereby protecting and expanding jobs in coastal communities.
- It is estimated to create and/or support 300+ permanent, good-paying jobs within the farming operation and seafood supply chain.*