A recent study emphasizes the need to change the approach to marine aquaculture in the food chain to algae.
- The goal is to produce nutritious food and reduce the ecological footprint of the current food system.
Article by Charles H. Greene, Friday Harbor and Celina M. Scott-Buechler advocates greater investment in seaweed aquaculture systems for future food.
The increase in agricultural and fishing production in order to meet the needs of consumers has a negative effect on:
- Land use
- Fresh water resources
Las Microalgae can provide large amounts of nutritious proteinsessential amino acids and other micronutrients, such as vitamins and antioxidants.
Furthermore, an aquaculture industry based on marine microalgae would not require arable land and fresh water nor pollute marine and freshwater ecosystems with fertilizer runoff.
However, the article does not address the potential for the new algae-based aquaculture industry to be culturally sensitive. And how the large production of microalgae would affect local eating habits or the taste of algae.
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Aquaculture: An industry with great challenges
According to the authors of the study, The new aquaculture industry based on marine microalgae is facing financial difficulties. Which will be difficult as it has to challenge established industries for market share.
This is before your technologies are fully mature and before you can achieve the full benefits of scale.
Financial investment and market incentives provided by state and federal governments can help reduce this green premium until the playing field is leveled.
The future role of algae-based solutions in achieving global food security and environmental sustainability will depend on the actions governments take today.
Marine microalgae can help fill a projected nutritional gap while improving overall environmental sustainability and ocean health.
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