Climate change will affect how and where we produce food
The world’s leading climate scientists have warned that we only have 12 years remaining for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5⁰C. After this point, even half a degree will significantly increase the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. Climate change also has a direct impact on the oceans, dramatically altering ocean ecosystems, including rising sea levels and temperatures, acidification, and oxygen loss.
Keeping global warming to less than 1.5⁰C will only be achieved by reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors, including food production.
The single biggest threat of climate change is the collapse of food systems
Jerry Hatfield, the director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment
The impact of climate change on food production
There is a direct risk that a changing climate will reduce production and productivity of many agriculture products:
- Land currently used for agriculture or livestock farming will be required for climate change mitigation, i.e. reforestation to capture CO2 and growing energy crops to reduce reliance on fossil fuels It is expected that impacts on stock productivity and fish migration patterns will decrease productivity in half of all fisheries worldwide
- Rapid and large-scale changes, which do not damage natural resources or add to climate change, are needed to provide nutritious food to a burgeoning global population.
How does salmon farming fit into the picture?
- Farmed salmon is a healthy source of protein, with a low environmental impact and one of the lowest greenhouse gas profiles of all animal protein sources, offering an eco-friendly alternative to meat
- With only 5% of oceans currently being used for food production, there is an opportunity for oceans to contribute to filling the protein gap—particularly as land sources are under pressure from a changing climate
Role of salmon farming as a climate-friendly food
Studies show that aquaculture supports climate-friendly diets because it:
Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food industry in the world and already produces more biomass than either wild seafood or beef, making it a fundamental part of future food production.