Innovation Programme Manager, EIT Food
Co-founder & CEO, SafetyNet Technologies
As global demand for protein increases, aquaculture is playing a growing role in feeding the population.
Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food industry in the world, yet the industry is confronted with multiple challenges, from biodiversity loss and water pollution to unsustainable commercial fish feeds. However, the industry also offers opportunities. For example, aquaculture can contribute to the fight against climate change, the reduction of pollution and the protection of ecosystems. It can also help to achieve several UN sustainable development goals.
We need technologies and we need other solutions to ensure we are doing fishing and aquaculture in a sustainable way.
Aquaculture and SDGs
SDG Goal #1 No Poverty: Aquaculture provides a significant socioeconomic contribution in coastal and rural communities which can play a role in reducing poverty.
According to Dan Watson, Co-founder and CEO, SafetyNet Technologies, “We need technologies and we need other solutions to ensure we are doing fishing and aquaculture in a sustainable way. We need to ensure that people are not left out who require fish protein in order to survive on a daily basis or even profit from it in terms of industry and their income.” As part of EIT Food’s start-up community, SafetyNet Technologies creates solutions that enable precision fishing in the fishing industry.
SDG Goal #2 Zero Hunger: Aquaculture will supply most of the aquatic protein in people’s diets by 2050. This will help feed local populations, providing accessible, affordable food for all.
SDG Goal #3: Promoting Health and Wellbeing. Consumption of seafood is associated with many health benefits. Seafood is often a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
SDG Goal #12. Responsible Consumption and Production. The industry is exploring sustainable alternatives to commercial fish feeds such as insects, yeast and bacterial proteins to overcome exploitation of global fish stocks.
For example, our partner Matís, a food and biotech R&D company in Iceland, has a focus on sustainable feed alternatives, mainly in the development, classification and testing of different alternative proteins sources.
SDG Goal #13: Climate Change. Aquaculture offers an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, such as through water sequestration.
SDG Goal #14: Life Below Water. Aquaculture is increasing its land-based production of seafood to ease the pressure on oceans and help to replenish currently depleting fish populations.
Accelerating innovation in sustainable aquaculture
This year, we launched seven activities to accelerate innovation in the aquaculture sector. We also welcomed 18 new partners to our network to expand and strengthen our community in aquaculture. Our aquaculture activities include:
BREEZE: An eco-friendly system for fish health management is enabling the scaling of sustainably managed fish farms, to meet the growing demand for healthy proteins. Project Consortium: Aqua Pharma Group (Norway), Pulcea (UK), University of Stirling (UK), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
Just Add Water is utilising world-leading technology to minimise environmental impact and maximise fish welfare of farmed salmon. Project Consortium: FishFrom Ltd. (UK), University of Trento (Italy), University of Bologna (Italy), Hub Innovazione Trentino (Italy).
Ground-breaking Circular Economy Feed Ingredient is developing a fish feed for salmon that contains protein from recycled wastewater in the starch industry, to replace the use of fishmeal and soybean meal. Project Consortium: Cewatech (Sweden), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), Matís (Iceland)
Mercedes Groba, Innovation Programme Manager at EIT Food says, “Our promising innovation projects will help to transform aquaculture into a sustainable industry. This forms part of EIT Food’s wider mission to make our entire food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.”