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Contributions to Sustainable Aquaculture Development

Fish and other aquatic or blue foods are critical components of strategies to deliver healthy, sustainable, and equitable food systems. Part of GSI’s mission is to connect our insights and learnings with broader networks to support the development of sustainable aquaculture in high-need areas.

Aquaculture’s vital role in healthy, sustainable diets

Aquaculture – the farming of aquatic animals and plants – is widely recognized as a vital contribution to a healthy, sustainable, and resilient global food system. Globally, fish and other aquatic foods provide nearly 20% of the average per capita animal protein intake for more than 3.3 billion people and 10% for approximately 5.6 billion people. Aquatic food supply must expand to meet future demand, as 87 million tons of fish were produced in 2020 and 155 million tons of fish will be needed by 2050. Efforts to sustainably expand aquaculture, manage wild fisheries, and reduce loss and waste will be essential to meet this demand.

Sustainable aquaculture can provide healthy and nutritious food for people and planet, improve economies, create employment (including for women and youth), and support a sustainable and balanced diet. Yet, continued improvements in aquaculture’s social and environmental performance are still needed and the full potential has not been realized in many parts of the world, particularly in Africa. As a comparatively low-carbon food production system, sustainable aquaculture can contribute to the world’s response to climate change and can do so in ways that are socially responsible with minimal environmental impact.

Quote Cristián Swett

Role of collaboration and industry leadership

Although aquaculture has been growing, innovating, and improving in many parts of the world, there are many geographies that require accelerated growth, improvements in social and environmental performance, and significant innovation and investment. To deliver on aquaculture’s growth potential, all stakeholders must take action and companies need to support more effective collaboration. Business as usual will not deliver progress at the scale needed.

Recognizing the power of both a collaborative response and private sector leadership in delivering on aquaculture’s potential, Global Salmon Initiative and FUTUREFISH, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, convened a roundtable of aquaculture industry leaders. The roundtable, hosted in Amsterdam, Netherlands in May 2022, brought together chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior executives from 13 aquaculture companies, including producer, seed, feed, health, and investor organizations. This group represented a global perspective, with the aim of harnessing their expertise and ambition to accelerate industry-wide progress.

Those gathered at the roundtable reflected on what the world needs from aquaculture, the potential of collaboration, and the barriers and change levers to catalyze progress. Together, they developed a Call to Action, representing a new and overarching commitment to advance global aquaculture industry leadership. 

The aim of this Call to Action is to mobilize a sustainable future for purpose driven aquaculture, meaning one that provides nourishment in equitable and climate-resilient ways. The Call to Action serves as a contribution to the UN Ocean Conference and will help ensure a greater role for aquaculture in helping to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Read the Aquaculture Roundtable Call to Action

Quote Sophie Ryan

Supporting Sustainable Development of Aquaculture in Africa

Building off the global aquaculture CEO roundtable, GSI is continuing to work with FUTUREFISH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the accelerated development of sustainable aquaculture in Sub-Saharan Africa to increase food security and economic and social well-being.

GSI has been asked to support their mission and utilize the knowledge and experience we have in uniting business leaders and building a collective platform to help motivate sustainable development. By bringing local business leaders together, they can identify possible challenges and opportunities to enable sustainable growth, and our member companies and network can share their experiences and learnings to support them.

Within GSI, we recognize the power of collaboration to inspire and deliver measurable change. We welcome any other partners who share our mission of supporting sustainable aquaculture development globally to get in touch.