Seafood2030 panel at GOAL focuses on future of blue food economy

Published on
December 30, 2020

Seafood2030 hosted a session at the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2020 conference discussing the Blue Foods Assessment – a developing research project looking at the role seafood plays in global Food Systems.

The panel included Jim Leape, co-chair of the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions and the William and Eva Price Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Fio Micheli, co-chair of the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions the David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science; Shakuntala Thilsted, research program leader for value chains and nutrition at WorldFish; and Jessica Gephart, assistant professor in environmental science at American University.

The Blue Food Assessment is a coalition of international researchers working to put “blue food” (food from marine and freshwater systems) in the center of the global food policy agenda.

The Blue Food Assessment aims to conduct a robust, high-impact scientific assessment of how the extraordinary diversity of blue foods affects their contributions to nutrition, their environmental impacts, and spur local and national economies, and better understand the key role the ocean will play in any transformation towards a healthy, sustainable food system.

“Fish and other aquatic foods provide around 3.3 billion people with 20 percent of their animal protein intake. The human appetite for aquatic foods shows no signs of slowing with global fish consumption rising at a yearly growth rate faster than beef,” WorldFish, which launched a new strategy focused on aquatic foods earlier this month, said in a press release. “Historically undervalued, aquatic foods must occupy a central place in our food futures and COVID-19 recovery through the global agricultural research agenda, alongside land-based crops and livestock.”

According to Worldfish, looking at seafood from a blue foods perspective provides two big values for the seafood industry: 1) puts seafood more squarely in global policy development and recommendations on protein and nutrition, and 2) highlights the importance of seafood to a healthy diet for people and the planet. Science is helping differentiate seafood in global protein markets and the industry should pay attention, the organization said.

Photo courtesy of Francisco Blaha

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