The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) projects that the total production of aquatic animals will reach 202 million tonnes in 2030, thanks mainly to the sustained growth of aquaculture, expected to reach 106 million tonnes in 2030.
On the other hand, capture fisheries production has remained the same for the past 20 years, at around 90 million metric tons. It is expected to increase 6% from 2020 to reach 96 million tonnes in 2030 due to improved resource management, underfished resources, reduced discards, waste and losses.
* What is a capture fisheries? Capture fisheries is the removal of aquatic organisms from natural or enhanced inland waters.
The overfishing of our oceans has led to a decline in fish stocks.
According to the FAO, in 2022, more than 90% of marine fish stocks are overexploited, overfished or reached the largest average catch that can be captured from a stock under existing environmental conditions [maximum sustainable yield (MSY)] . This is threatening the entire marine ecosystem's fragile balance and the food security of coastal developing countries.
If aquaculture seems to be a solution to reduce the pressure on wild resources, this is not entirely true, and it has its fair share of challenges.
Farming fish requires the production of feed high in marine content, which is provided by fishmeal and fish oil from reduction fisheries; feed also contains soy, which can contribute to deforestation and the conversion of precious ecosystems. Farming installation and processes could also be linked to the destruction and pollution of natural habitats and forced labour issues.
We believe Oceans can be exploited in a regenerative way:
We believe we have a role in supporting this paradigm shift alongside our partners, companies and stakeholders.
Our work on Oceans had initially started supporting French retailers on different aspects of their seafood supply chains. This is why we have a special focus on species with the largest sales volumes, i.e. tuna, shrimp and salmon. Earthworm is notably coordinating 3 working groups with collective objectives and actions, composed of retailers and industry key players, to improve the responsibility of the sector (more information in the projects section).
Today we're working with a wide range of companies within the seafood industry, from feed manufacturers, fleet owners or fish farmers to retailers. We are accompanying our partners in adopting sustainable policies and requirements, sourcing fish from sustainably managed stocks, implementing best aquaculture practices, respecting human rights and improving transparency in the supply chain.
CLICK HERE if you are interested in working with us.
CLICK HERE if you have a question about our work on seafood.