The following article by April Forristall appeared in the May 21 edition of SeafoodSource.com. Its theme – that the United States must up its role in aquaculture production – is the genesis of the motivation behind Global Blue Technologies’ every action. After literally lifetimes spent seeking solutions to key problems plaguing humanity and the environment, the individuals behind GBT knew decades ago what Ms. Forristall says our nation is only now coming to understand. That of course is journalistic shorthand. The need for a way to relieve the unsustainable pressure on our Oceans’ marine life and to bolster the world food supply was recognized by many within government and without for quite some time. It’s not a new concept. But it is one GBT is doing something of substance to address.
US needs to step up aquaculture game
By April Forristall, SeafoodSource.com assistant editor
Published on 21 May, 2014
Coming off the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels earlier this month, aquaculture seems to be the trending topic.
Two SeafoodSource contributors used their weekly commentaries to discuss Maria Damanaki’s call at the expo for an increase in European aquaculture, and it got me thinking, where is the call for growth in the U.S. aquaculture industry going to come from?
A compelling case can be made for growing more seafood in the U.S. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, while the worldwide amount of wild seafood has stayed the same year-to-year, there has been consistent increase in aquaculture production. The U.S. is the leading importer of fish, with 91 percent of the seafood we eat originating abroad — half of which is from aquaculture. Driven by imports, the U.S. seafood trade deficit has grown to more than USD 11.2 billion (EUR 8.2 million) annually.
In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organization released “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014” report, stating that while global aquaculture production reached another all-time high of 90.4 million metric tons (MT) in 2012, the U.S reduced aquaculture output in recent years, mainly due to competition from countries with lower production costs. The U.S. is credited with the overall production fall in North America, only producing 400,000 MT in 2012, down from its peak of 600,000 MT in 2004.
The formation of The Coalition of U.S. Seafood Producers (CUSP) was announced in February of this year, which aims to provide expertise and support of government action that will create growth in aquaculture development. At the time, the group said Congress had never heard of a need for aquaculture development before.