Sustainable Seafood

  • The ocean is a pillar of global food security with a critical role to play in supplying a growing global population with sustainable protein. However, today the ocean supplies just 2% of the world’s calorie needs. 
  • Moreover, despite seafood’s potential and its low environmental footprint, most food policy discussions focus on land-based agriculture or discuss production on land and sea separately.
  • The future of fisheries, food security and ocean ecosystems is undermined by illegal, undocumented and unreported (IUU) fishing, overfished stocks, and unsustainable practices.
  • Seaweed offers enormous potential as a source of feed, fuel and fertilizer and should be leveraged within the aquaculture industry to support food security and combat climate change. 

Key facts

What are the Key Actions to Deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals? 

  • Ensuring fully traceable seafood: All seafood traded internationally in 2030 should be required by law to be accompanied by standardized traceability data that consumers can trust. 
  • Bridging food production with dietary and environmental needs: Shift the balance from land-based protein to harnessing sustainable ocean calories, including through seaweed, which offers enormous potential for food, feed and fuel.
  • Contribute to the development of a regenerative aquaculture: By recreating ocean ecosystems through multi-trophic aquaculture, we can generate numerous positive global externalities. 

What is the Action Platform doing in 2021? 

  • Identifying financial mechanisms and levers to incentivize sustainable seafood 
  • Contributing to standardize traceability data and promote interoperability of traceability platforms through the seafood value chain
  • Initiating a global seaweed platform to scale-up the industry by supporting specific safety standards and knowledge sharing amongst stakeholders
  • Working towards increasing the recognition of seafood in the climate and food agendas in the run-up to the UN Food Systems Summit 

Relevant resources 

Aquaculture Practical Guidance (2020) Practical Guidances for the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles. Available here: https://ungc-communications-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/publications/UN-Global-Compact-Sustainable-Ocean-Principles-%20Aquaculture.pdf

Seaweed Manifesto (2020) UN Global Compact and Lloyd’s Register Foundation (www.seaweedmanifesto.com )

Blue Resilience Brief (2020) UN Global Compact. Ch. 2 Aquaculture Resilience 

EAT-Lancet (2019) Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. Available here: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31788-4/fulltext

Seaweed Manifesto (2020) UN Global Compact and Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Available here: https://unglobalcompact.org/library/5743

Ocean Stewardship 2030 (2020) UN Global Compact. Available here: https://unglobalcompact.org/library/5742

FAO (2020) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020. Available online: http://www.fao.org/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture

Jouffray et al (2020) The big blue: financing sustainable seafood. Available online: https://www.unpri.org/pri-blogs/the-big-blue-financing-sustainable-seafood/6500.article