Expanding marine aquaculture to produce nutritious and sustainable food

Expanding marine aquaculture to produce nutritious and sustainable food

Microalgae cultivation facility along the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Cyanotech Corporation. Credit: Greene, CH, CM Scott-Buechler, ALP Hausner, ZI Johnson, X. Lei, and ME Huntley. 2022. Transforming the Future of Marine Aquaculture: A Circular Economy Approach. Oceanography, p. 28, DOI: 10.5670/oceanog.2022.213, CC-BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Terrestrial agriculture provides the backbone of the world’s food production system. Opinion article published October 17 in the open access journal Biology Plus Written by Charles H. Green at the University of Washington, Friday Harbor, Washington, US, and Selina M. Scott Buchler of Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, US, raises the case for increased investment in algal aquaculture systems as a means of meeting nutritional needs while reducing the ecological footprint of food production.

Increasing agricultural and fisheries production to meet consumer needs has negative impacts on climate, land use, freshwater resources, and biodiversity. In their article, the authors argue for shifting the focus of marine aquaculture down the food chain to algae in order to potentially solve the growing demand for nutritious foods as well as the need to reduce the current ecological footprint of the diet.

Microalgae may provide significant amounts of dietary protein, essential amino acids, as well as other micronutrients, such as vitamins and antioxidants. Additionally, the marine algae-based aquaculture industry will not require arable land and fresh water, or pollute freshwater and marine ecosystems through fertilizer run-off. The article does not address the possibility that the algae-based aquaculture industry may be culturally responsive, or how large-scale microalgae production will affect local dietary methods, or how algae taste.

According to the authors, “The financial headwinds faced by the marine microalgae-based aquaculture industry will be harsh as it must challenge existing industries to gain market share before its technologies are fully mature and can realize the full benefits of scale. Financial investments and market incentives can help “The future role of algae-based solutions in achieving global food security and environmental sustainability will depend on the actions governments take today.”

Green adds, “Agriculture provides the backbone of today’s global food production system; however, its ability to meet global nutritional requirements by 2050 is limited. Marine microalgae can help fill the expected nutritional gap while simultaneously improving overall environmental sustainability and ocean health. .”


Wild algae farms could become a ‘breadbasket for the Global South’


more information:
Algae solutions: transforming marine aquaculture from the bottom up for a sustainable future. Plus Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pbio.3001824

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the quote: Algae-based food goes global: Scaling up marine aquaculture to produce nutritious and sustainable food (2022, Oct 17) Retrieved Oct 17, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-algae-based-food -global-scaling-marine.html

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