May 24, 2021

Letter from US aquaculture sector calls for prioritisation of aquaculture to tackle climate change



Advocates of the US aquaculture sector have called on US President Joe Biden to prioritises aquaculture to help mitigate climate change.


Under the banner of Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS) – an industry coalition that advocates for increasing Americans' access to healthy, sustainable, affordable and domestically produced seafood – a letter was signed by over 70 aquaculture advocates, including US scientists, environmental advocates and industry leaders.


"As our federal leaders seek innovative solutions to address the climate crisis, aquaculture, one of the most resource-efficient methods for protein production, should be considered as a tool to help feed our growing population responsibly while protecting our planet," said Margaret Henderson, campaign manager of SATS.


"Through federal action, the (Biden) administration and congress can establish a clear regulatory pathway for permitting offshore aquaculture that would support a sustainable seafood future, increase the resiliency of our food systems and create new jobs in communities nationwide."


"If we are going to feed the growing world population, we must continue to advance the development of sustainable marine fish farming technologies. Protein production from sustainable aquaculture systems is more efficient and less damaging to the environment than other animal protein production," said Dr. Kevan L Main, director of Mote Aquaculture Research Park.


"As your administration works towards the goal of net zero carbon emissions no later than 2050, we the undersigned ask that you consider sustainable aquaculture production as a tool to help mitigate climate change, as well as contribute towards feeding a growing population," the letter addressed Biden. "According to the United Nations, human population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and the global demand for healthful animal protein will rise by as much as 88%. Numerous reports published in the last three years call for future animal protein production to shift towards seafood, including aquaculture.


"Environmental impacts of animal protein production, such as energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use, water use and biodiversity impacts per functional unit of protein can be greatly mitigated through well-managed aquaculture, including offshore aquaculture in marine waters. Well-managed marine aquaculture development could increase the resiliency of our food systems to future environmental, social and economic shocks, including the impacts of climate change."


- The Fish Site