For the first time in history, fish farms provide over half of all traded fish, with fish being the largest traded food commodity on earth.
The aquaculture industry is booming as wild fish stocks are depleted and the planet’s growing population continues to demand seafood. However, as with all intensive farming, aquaculture can have a devastating impact on marine habitats and wild fish stocks. Mangrove forests are destroyed and replaced by shrimp farms, salmon farming pollutes waterways with antibiotics and pesticides and genetically weak escaped fish infiltrate wild populations. Moreover, millions of tons of wild fish are caught and processed into fishmeal to feed the farms.
BLUE is determined to influence the future of aquaculture by developing sustainable practices and driving innovation in the field. Alternative forms of protein – algae and insect based – are being trialed to reduce pressure on wild fish stocks – insect farms, fueled by human waste not only produce protein but also natural fertilizer to grow plants. A campaign is underway to regulate the UK wrasse fishery – wild populations of these ‘cleaner fish’ are collapsing as wrasse are caught and sold to salmon farms to remove sealice, a result of overcrowded sea cages. BLUE also promotes sustainable shellfish restoration projects and aquaculture of species such and oysters and mussels, filter-feeders that create healthy ecosystems that support a diversity of marine life and are more resilient to climate change.
>50% of globally traded fish is farmed
20 million tonnes of wild fish caught per year to supply fish farms with feed
20% of global mangrove forests destroyed to build shrimp farms
By working together, we can turn the tide on overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity. By supporting BLUE, you can help to create marine reserves around the world.