So can Sweden take the lead for sustainable seafood

News

photo: Joongi Kim/Flickr


In an article in Sweden’s major morning news paper the researchers GEDB and Beijer Institute researchers Max Troell and Patrik Henriksson together with colleagues from other research institutions present arguments for seafood’s potential as a nutritious and sustainable food alternative, especially if it replaces meat. Its success is, however, dependent on a move towards better fisheries management and more sustainable aquaculture production, promoting cultivation of species that do not require any feed (such as mussels, algae) or towards herbivorous species (eg tilapia, carp). The authors urge Swedish authorities to take action to enable this.

Read the article (in Swedish) here

Of the wild fish that is landed by Swedish fishermen 60% goes to the production of feed, the rest goes to the process industry where less than half becomes human food, while the byproducts are destined mainly as mink feed. Thus, only a fifth of the wild caught fish ends up on our plates. Moreover, around 80% of the seafood consumed within the EU is imported.

The authors write that an increased domestic production in Sweden would be positive in several ways: it could provide new jobs, stable access to healthy and sustainably produced food, and it could also strengthen the traceability and the link between producers and consumers. They suggest the creation of a new label, “Swedish seafood”, that would guarantee lenient fishing methods, scientifically grounded fishing quotas as well as environmentally and climate-friendly farming methods. For this to happen Swedish authorities and businesses concerned need to cooperate and the team of researchers point the way forward by several concrete points of advice for instance to simplify regulations and support innovative aquaculture producers.