Reports from the Blue Food Innovation Summit in London

Setting a pathway for the future to enable fish and shrimp industry to exist tomorrow

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags BioMar sustainable blue food wild-caught seaweed

'It's not about wild versus farmed, it’s about responsible blue foods," says BioMar’s Katherine Bryar.

As well as being the global marketing director at that Danish feed company, she is the cofounder of an education initiative about seafood, Fed by Blue.

That project is aimed at broadening access to responsible blue food by increasing transparency, expanding education, and improving policies, she told us when we met up with her at the Blue Food Innovation Summit in London last week.

"Blue foods are those we get from water: fish, seafood and seaweed (algae). This means those we harvest from oceans, rivers and lakes ​as well as those that are farmed (aquaculture)," notes the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

More than three billion people rely on blue food to get their vital nutrients and protein. When done responsibly, farming the oceans can provide six times more blue food than today to meet the needs of a growing population tomorrow, according to that educational initiative.

The campaigners want to broaden access by informing the public at large as to why responsibly raised blue food is so valuable and nutritious, how to find and recognize sustainable sources, and how to demand change on a local level. They also hope to improve food literacy by educating the next generation, young people, about the nutritional, economical, and environmental benefits of responsibly produced blue food.

They also want to increase the availability and transparency of responsibly sourced blue food.

And Fed by Blue is expanding its public education efforts through a docuseries, Hope in the Water. One of the executive producers of that series is the award-winning producer and writer, David E Kelley.

Reducing feed related environmental impact

Bryar was also participating in a panel discussion at the London event - Producer Forum: Pioneering a Sustainable Future

She does not favor one blue food production system over another.

“We need to stop the conversation of wild versus farmed. It is about responsible blue food, and that happens in both sectors,” she said, with her stressing that 80% of aquaculture’s carbon footprint comes from feed.

With that huge carbon, but also land and water footprint, if industry wants to make a systemic change in aquaculture, the focus should be on the ingredients, said Bryar.

BioMar, she said, has been exploring how the industry can set a pathway for the future to enable farmers to exist tomorrow.

It will critical, said Bryar, to incorporate novel raw materials that can take us away from the current ingredients we are using today, those connected to human food consumption, so bringing in nutrient rich waste streams, alongside circular and regenerative ingredients with lower impacts from an LCA perspective, ensuring fish health and wellbeing among other factors, as well as ensuring the quality of the final fish fillet.

Reliable life cycle analysis (LCA) data is crucial, so farmers can understand the impact of any feed formulation changes based on sustainability parameters, she added.

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