We’d only need 1% of the ocean’s surface to grow our seafood in farms, rather than capturing it from the wild. Not only would this allow marine ecosystems across the world to stabilize, but also increase food security, autonomy, and economic output.
A team led by researchers from UC Santa Barbara, Working with scientists from the Nature Conservancy, UCLA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have published the first global assessment of marine aquaculture potential. According to their results, we don’t need to fish wild fish any longer — we could simply grow them in farms.
Fish farming is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the food industry, already producing more biomass than “wild seafood catches and beef production,” the team writes. And there’s a lot more room to expand. Aquaculture could offer the resources to address our increasing food security concerns around the world, the team says, if we recognize its potential and work towards realizing it. Earth’s oceans are peppered with farming “hot spots,” they report, that could be developed to produce some 15 billion tons of fish each year, over 100 times the current global demand for seafood.