Seafood- protein for a growing world- but at what cost?

As we all know, we are experiencing a growing population. Our world is evolving rapidly, advancements in technology have allowed us to live longer on average. Developing countries are growing fast and there is a steady decline in worldwide poverty rates. This is all great news, however with that comes bad news.

Why is this an issue? Because now we face food security and nutrition problems. Growth in the world’s middle-class population leads to a higher demand for animal protein. Seafood is a good source and provides plentiful nutrients including omega-3 fats, minerals and vitamins. Technology has made it possible for fishermen to go deeper into the ocean and catch fish faster than they can reproduce. Overfishing dates back for centuries and by the 1950s some species were close to extinction. For over a decade now, our oceans have reached their critical limit of harvest capacity.

Statistics reported by FAO in 2018:

  • 33.1% of fish stocks are overfished.
  • 59.9% are maximally sustainably fished stocks, the previous term being fully fished stocks. This represents the optimal catch rate and is what the fishery industry should aim for.
  • 7% are underfished.

These figures do not account for the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing that is estimated to be more than 15% of the global capture fisheries production.

A consequence of overfishing is bycatching which is the act of unintentionally catching unwanted animals. This happens when the fish caught are not the preferred size, sex or species in which they will be thrown back into the ocean. The other scenario is fishing equipment becoming marine debris and trap fish and seabird predators. Bycatch also includes other animals such as turtles, dolphins and whales. It causes suffering, injuries and most likely death.

Perhaps you don’t eat fish, or you have more important things to do than worry about looking after animals and the environment. It may come as a disappointment to you that overfishing affects us humans too. Everyone loves food, but what if our food security is jeopardised? How would you feel if your favourite food is affected? Are you willing to pay triple the price or more for it? Seafloor trawling is an operation used to catch bottom dwelling fish, while doing so it destroys corals, sponges and oysters all which are fundamental to providing safe marine habitat. This matters to you because the ocean protects us from the adverse effects of climate change. The ocean and its entirety helps absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide emissions which is the result from human activities.

Climate change causes droughts, extreme weather and changes in temperature, which can affect the performance in agricultural and aquaculture industry, therefore the food supply we love and potentially your favourite snack.

Tougher restrictions implemented to protect fish will cause unemployment to fishermen and workers in the fishery industry. Additionally, the tourism industry will also suffer if the beautiful ocean is no longer. It is uncertain how many other work sectors will be affected, therefore it is important to act responsibly and be aware of the consequences overfishing have on satisfying seafood demand.

Fortunately, the enforcement of policies and sustainability considerations have reduced fish exploitation. Currently 50% of the fish we eat is farmed through aquaculture which is a major improvement compared to depleting wild stocks.

Here at Bloom Aqua we strive to create healthy and efficient protein. We understand the challenges that come with aquaculture whilst aiming for a sustainable future. Our capable and innovative team have developed effective water treatment technologies that meets international standards and are substantial for all aquaculture growth processes. It will remove unwanted materials, reduce contamination risks, thus improving the water quality and ensuring high performance and minimal losses in aquaculture production for all businesses.

Our services in aquaculture production specialises with a diverse range of fish and shrimp species. Whether you require indoor or outdoor aquafarming, our technology solutions are catered for all. We have a number of equipment to compliment your choice including hatchery, harvesting, processing, feeders and pipes. Our goal is to provide you with the best customer service, including after-sales support and lasting technology which requires less maintenance. Feel free to contact our consultancy team for more information on how we can solve your aquaculture project needs and bring it to life!