The report, The Future of Food from the Sea, examines the current status and future potential of food production from the ocean and the opportunities for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal on Zero Hunger through ocean-based food.
It is the first of a series of “Blue Papers” commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, a group comprising the heads of government from 15 countries. The papers aim to summarise scientific evidence and provide decision-makers with an overview of the challenges and opportunities for the sustainable use of ocean resources.
One of the new report’s key findings is that smarter management of wild marine fisheries and marine aquaculture (mariculture) could result in a six-fold increase in food production from the ocean. This would equate to more than two-thirds of the protein needed to feed a global population expected to reach almost 10 billion people in 2050, and – the report continues – it can happen in tandem with efforts to restore the health of ocean ecosystems.
“This report adds to the growing body of evidence that shows the importance of aquatic foods for providing healthy people and a healthy planet,” said Dr Shakuntala Thilsted, Global Research Leader on Value Chains and Nutrition at WorldFish, and a member of the High Level Panel’s Expert Group. “If we manage aquatic resources well – be they in the oceans or inland – we can be sure to provide future generations with a source of safe, sustainable and nutritious food, ensuring we can feed billions and nourish nations.”
The report notes that food from the ocean plays a unique role in sustainable food security for five reasons:
However, meeting the food production potential of the ocean will require major global policy shifts, including:
A total of 16 Blue Papers will be published by June 2020 and will be used by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy to produce a set of recommendations for the 2020 UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, the same month. Themes of the forthcoming Blue Papers include the expected impacts of climate change on the ocean economy, fair, equitable and sustainable use of marine genetic resources, pollution, and ocean finance.
Report: The Future of Food from the Sea:
The High Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy