The world faces multiple challenges of climate change, unsustainable use of natural resources and our oceans, and sustaining a healthy and nutritious food system for our growing population.

Aquaculture can play a vital role in responding to these global challenges, by providing healthy and nutritious food, and contributing to a sustainable and climate-resilient food system.

Aquaculture is making progress, but not fast enough

FUTUREFISH exists to accelerate innovation and investment to address these challenges, head-on

Why FUTUREFISH?

Aquaculture is a vibrant and exciting frontier of food production.

It is of the fastest growing food production sectors globally. Aquaculture shows promise as a low carbon food production system, as an alternative to land-based food production. Progress has been made in sustainable aquaculture, yet more can be done to create positive change through aquaculture, on human and environmental health, our oceans and inland waters, and the world’s response to climate change.

Truly sustainable aquaculture is a journey.

There are many areas of aquaculture, including in our oceans and large parts of the planet in dire need of change. Malnutrition remains widespread.

New innovations are not reaching farmers, are insufficient to achieve change at scale, or are blind to gender or inclusion of small-scale actors. Low-income food-deficit countries, and remote communities, where some of the greatest benefits of sustainable aquaculture can be achieved, are often not being included in new investment.  Risks from climate are poorly understood, or not being properly factored into new investments.

Aquaculture performance gaps create opportunity for change.

FUTUREFISH exists to help bridge aquaculture’s big performance gaps – we will work on connecting new innovations with farming communities, policy, and investment, new start-ups and businesses with emerging market opportunities, smallholders with knowledge, business, and investment. We will seek out and work in partnership with like-minded change-oriented partners – trailblazing entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors – to identify and create opportunities in the “difficult” places and challenges. We believe that such focus – in low- and middle-income countries of Africa and Asia – will create truly sustainable aquaculture, and better outcomes for people, climate, and the planet.

FUTUREFISH Attention

FUTUREFISH knowledge and expertise extend across the aquaculture ecosystem, but we highlight several issues for particular attention.
Food and nutrition staples
Smallholder fish farmers
Africa’s future fish demand
Climate and environment
Women and gender
Investment and finance
Inclusive digital technology and data

Fish is a vital source of micronutrients in developing countries, a commodity that should be both affordable and sustainable. Essential nutrients – such as calcium, zinc, and vitamins A and B12 – are critical for the development of children and the health of adults. Tilapia, carps, and catfishes – often grown in mixed farming systems with small indigenous species – are food and nutrition “staples” for millions of people. These species and farming systems can be farmed in sustainable ways, providing fast-growing and easy to grow on small- and large-scale farms, helping resource-poor consumers meet their nutritional requirements, especially in developing countries. Supporting farmers to deliver greater efficiency through a range of technology and management improvements – including genetics, health, and management innovations – can be critical for the millions of small-scale producers in Africa and Asia.

thilapia fish

Smallholders remain a large contributor to rural economies – particularly in low and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia and a mainstay of aquaculture production in many regions. New business models, inclusive digital approaches, respect for indigenous knowledge and inclusive innovations, policy, and investments – are needed to provide new pathways with the right resources, partners, and innovations.

 

Africa remains a poorly served market yet is essential in both the production side of aquaculture and with communities who rely on the industry to meet their daily nutritional needs. However, there needs to be a massive boost in fish production to meet projected demand in the next ten years. Small-holder fish farmers and women are often overlooked, missing opportunities from the large number of investment firms who invest in Africa.

African women at paddy field

 

 

At the front line of climate change, the ocean, the coastlines, and coastal communities are being disproportionately impacted by increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. The degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems threatens the physical, economic, and food security of local communities, as well as resources for global businesses. Aquaculture has an important role to play as a climate-resilient food source and livelihood option. Integration of aquaculture into a “carbon neutral” food system and company plans are at an early stage.

Solar panels at sea

Women are present in all phases of fish production, processing, and distribution, and contribute to the generation of wealth, the preservation of aquatic ecosystems, and the maintenance of households and communities in rural and coastal regions. Yet they are often underpaid, overworked, overlooked and “hidden” from policy and investment, at all levels. FUTUREFISH is dedicated to change in women’s empowerment in aquaculture; we want to see inclusivity at the forefront of change in aquaculture. It is a necessity to empower women within aquaculture at all sectors and to develop solutions that encourage women’s growth within the industry, while also recognizing the added responsibilities many women in developing countries have, such as managing their households, primary carer of children, and managing finances.

Indian women holding a fish on scale

Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food production form on earth. Already a $243.5 billion industry, aquaculture holds great potential to meet the growing global demand for more sustainable forms of protein while protecting marine and inland water ecosystems. The increasing investment in aquaculture is presenting exciting new opportunities for aquaculture – but it is important to ensure that such investments do build ecosystem resilience, create better livelihoods, and meet consumer demand for humane and healthy food choices. Investment is not being fully targeted where it is needed, and there is a need to direct finance to where it can create the greatest impact on people and the planet.

women counting money

The rapid advances being made in digital approaches are showing great promise for aquaculture – improving data, creating new insights, and enabling better management and market access to aquaculture stakeholders.  Yet, many technologies are highly focussed on high-value commodities and many farmers in rural areas across Africa and Asia lack access to the benefits such technology might bring. We will create partnerships between established enterprises and entrepreneurs, assessing compatibility through data analysis to encourage the growth of inclusive digital approaches to sustainable aquaculture, and ways in which the many can benefit from the advances being made in digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

satellite timelapse

Source: Sea warden Satellite observations of pond-level insights at weekly intervals
Food and nutrition staples
Smallholder fish farmers
Africa’s future fish demand
Climate and environment
Women and gender
Investment and finance
Inclusive digital technology and data

Fish is a vital source of micronutrients in developing countries, a commodity that should be both affordable and sustainable. Essential nutrients – such as calcium, zinc, and vitamins A and B12 – are critical for the development of children and the health of adults. Tilapia, carps, and catfishes – often grown in mixed farming systems with small indigenous species – are food and nutrition “staples” for millions of people. These species and farming systems can be farmed in sustainable ways, providing fast-growing and easy to grow on small- and large-scale farms, helping resource-poor consumers meet their nutritional requirements, especially in developing countries. Supporting farmers to deliver greater efficiency through a range of technology and management improvements – including genetics, health, and management innovations – can be critical for the millions of small-scale producers in Africa and Asia.

thilapia fish

 

Smallholders remain a large contributor to rural economies – particularly in low and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia and a mainstay of aquaculture production in many regions. New business models, inclusive digital approaches, respect for indigenous knowledge and inclusive innovations, policy, and investments – are needed to provide new pathways with the right resources, partners, and innovations.

Africa remains poorly served yet needs a massive boost in fish production to meet projected demand in the next ten years. Small-holders and women are also significantly missing in many investments targeting Africa.

African women at paddy field

 

At the front line of climate change, the ocean, the coastlines, and coastal communities are being disproportionately impacted by increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. The degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems threatens the physical, economic, and food security of local communities, as well as resources for global businesses. Aquaculture has an important role to play as a climate-resilient food source and livelihood option. Integration of aquaculture into a “carbon neutral” food system and company plans are at an early stage.

Women are present in all phases of fish production, processing, and distribution, and contribute to the generation of wealth, the preservation of aquatic ecosystems, and the maintenance of households and communities in rural and coastal regions. Yet they are often underpaid, overworked, overlooked and “hidden” from policy and investment, at all levels. FUTUREFISH is dedicated to change in women’s empowerment in aquaculture; we want to see inclusivity at the forefront of change in aquaculture. It is a necessity to empower women within aquaculture at all sectors and to develop solutions that encourage women’s growth within the industry, while also recognizing the added responsibilities many women in developing countries have, such as managing their households, primary carer of children, and managing finances.

Indian women holding a fish on scale

Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food production form on earth. Already a $243.5 billion industry, aquaculture holds great potential to meet the growing global demand for more sustainable forms of protein while protecting marine and inland water ecosystems. The increasing investment in aquaculture is presenting exciting new opportunities for aquaculture – but it is important to ensure that such investments do build ecosystem resilience, create better livelihoods, and meet consumer demand for humane and healthy food choices. Investment is not being fully targeted where is needed, and there is a need to direct finance where it can create the greatest impact on people and the planet.

women counting money

The rapid advances being made in digital approaches are showing great promise for aquaculture – improving data, creating new insights, and enabling better management and market access to aquaculture stakeholders.  Yet, many technologies are highly focussed on high-value commodities and many farmers in rural areas across Africa and Asia lack access to the benefits such technology might bring. We will create partnerships between established enterprises and entrepreneurs, assessing compatibility through data analysis to encourage the growth of inclusive digital approaches to sustainable aquaculture, and ways in which the many can benefit from the advances being made in digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

satellite timelapse

Source: Sea warden Satellite observations of pond-level insights at weekly intervals

The World seeks to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Aquaculture can and should contribute to those goals – in many ways – helping to address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.

FUTUREFISH work aligns with many of the SDG goals and targets – and we will engage with partners who have similar aspirations and values, to put those goals into practical actions, together making the sustainable development goals more achievable.

No poverty SDG logo
zero hunger SDG logo
gender equality SDG logo
decent work and economic growth SDG logo
responsible consumption and production SDG logo
life below water SDG logo

Follow us on social media