Five global trends driving innovation in seafood sector
US sustainable seafood investment forum Fish 2.0 identified five trends driving the seafood industry's transformation.
By Liza Mayer
The five trends are: the need to predict and understand climate change impacts; wild fish stocks nearing maximum yield; product globalization and the rise of online sales; the worldwide growth of a health-conscious middle class; and aquaculture’s rapid expansion.
These trends are opening up new markets in the seafood sector, and ventures around the world are racing to capture a share of the opportunities, said Fish 2.0, which concluded its annual competition on November 8 with the announcement of winners. The competition connects startups or inventors in aquaculture or fisheries with potential investors and other funding sources.
“Innovation in the seafood sector is growing like never before,” said Fish 2.0 founder and executive director Monica Jain. “Rapid technology advances and new players are coming to this previously traditional sector. We’re seeing creative products, services and business models that solve problems and remove barriers to both sustainability and growth of the seafood supply. These innovations are poised to create significant changes in the way seafood is produced, harvested and marketed over the next decade.”
Aquaculture industry players that won the competition include:
- Real Oyster Cult (New England), a Duxbury, Massachusetts, business that ships fresh oysters from all over North America direct to consumers overnight.
- Panacea Oyster Co-Op (South Atlantic and Gulf Coast Shellfish) of Spring Creek, Florida, which is restoring oyster farming in Apalachicola Bay by creating a unified brand and guaranteeing purchases to farmers.
- NovoNutrients (Supply Chain Innovation) of Sunnyvale, California, which is using food-grade bacteria to make fish food from industrial carbon emissions.
Fish 2.0 said the winners are “getting consumers excited about seafood.” They are also simplifying supply chains while increasing income for fishers and farmers, and are bringing to market creative approaches to aquaculture production and traceability. Each of them received a $5,000 cash prize.