It’s estimated that the global seafood industry will grow by over $20 billion between 2016 and 2021. That represents 20% growth over a five-year period, which is pretty impressive!
However, this growth isn’t without consequence, it will increase the pressure on global fish and seafood stocks. Stocks which are, in some areas, already experiencing overfishing as producers attempt to keep up with current demand of their markets.
This leads to a need to balance the demands of our growing population with the reality of our finite natural environment and that’s where innovation becomes essential. Using the latest technology and concepts to ensure that all needs are met with a minimal impact on the environment.
We’re already seeing some amazing new ideas in the seafood market, here are some of our favourites.
When is a fish not a fish but still fish meat? When it’s grown in the lab. Finless Food, a US based company is doing just that. Utilising the latest in cellular agriculture, they’re able to grow fish meat directly in the lab.
They start with progenitor cells taken from existing fish meat, then trick them into growing as if they were still part of the original animal. Feeding and providing scaffolding for them to grow over, will produce all kinds of different types and flavours of fish meat.
The company is hoping to be able to reproduce bluefin tuna by the end of 2019 and, when they do, they will have a sustainable, ethical and cruelty free source of fish meat.
The last decade has seen a huge growth in the number of land-based fish farms. These are large facilities where the fish are kept in tanks, rather than the sea. By placing them on land, the farms can be closer to their market, lowering transport costs, increasing freshness but also drastically reducing the carbon footprint of the product.
And what a product it is! The current range of land-based farms are focusing heavily on farming the stunning Atlantic salmon. Demand has never been higher for this majestic fish, so it’s a ready market for this new technology.
Although a growth market, we won’t likely see a big impact from land grown fish until 2020. But, with the obvious benefits, this could be a great support for wild fish-stocks going forward.
The last three years has seen a surge in demand for plant-based alternatives to all types of meat products. With the growth in vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian lifestyles across the world, this is completely understandable.
We’re now seeing some new and exciting ideas coming out. Utilising some innovative ingredients like konjac and yellow pea companies are already producing canned tuna, frozen crab cakes, fish fillets and shrimp, along with frozen and refrigerated smoked salmon. Watch this space for even more exciting ideas in the future.
Whilst the demand for fresh, wild fish will always remain, it’s heartening to see that innovations are coming to market which will help retain fish stocks and the environment for generations to come.Ask a question
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