Done poorly, aquaculture can damage sensitive ecosystems, disrupt communities, and pose a threat to human health; done well, it can be a force for ecological and social good. Building on decades of science-based collaborative work, this report aims to guide investment into sustainable aquaculture production systems with the goal of transforming the sector to meet the growing demand for seafood in harmony with ocean ecosystems.
Aquaculture – the commercial production of finfish, shellfish and seaweed – is currently the fastest-growing form of food production on earth. Already a $243.5 billion industry, the rapid growth of aquaculture holds great promise to meet growing global demand for more sustainable forms of protein while protecting marine ecosystems. To date, however, conventional aquaculture production in some locations has outpaced regulation and has created significant environmental challenges in the process. Emerging aquaculture production systems have significant potential to meet growing global food security challenges and human nutritional needs with improved environmental performance.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a leading global conservation organization, and Encourage Capital, a New York-based impact investment firm, wrote this report to catalyze greater investment into more sustainable aquaculture, so the industry can meet its potential to deliver healthy, sustainable seafood to satisfy the rapidly growing demand. In doing so, aquaculture can create alternatives to wild caught fisheries and more resource intensive forms of land-based protein production while ensuring protection of marine ecosystems.
Towards a Blue Revolution: Catalyzing Private Investment in Sustainable Aquaculture Production Systems seeks to articulate the full scale and potential of this exciting sector to catalyze investment into aquaculture projects and companies that can deliver targeted financial returns and improved environmental performance over business-asusual production. Conservative estimates suggest that by 2030, the aquaculture sector will require an additional $150-300 billion in capital investment to expand production infrastructure capacity to meet projected demand growth. By directing large-scale, private and multilateral investment towards more sustainable production systems, we aim to drive investment into the aquaculture segments that offer the most potential for meeting growing global seafood demand in harmony with the marine ecosystems. By doing so, our aim is to unlock a true ‘Blue Revolution.’