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Sustainable aquaculture provides impact-investment opportunity

A recent report from The Nature Conservancy and Encourage Capital aims to support demand for sustainable aquaculture and conservation finance.

Credit:The Kampachi Company

A recent report from conservation investment manager Encourage Capital and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) points to sustainable aquaculture as an opportunity for growth that meets investor demands for both returns and positive impact.

Aquaculture, an alternative to wild-caught fishing, has become a huge industry. It is now the fastest-growing form of food production on the planet, expanding at an annual rate of almost 6% globally. The report says it is already a $243.5 billion global industry, bigger than beef, pork and chicken.

Some aquaculture businesses, however, are not sustainable. Indeed, aquaculture’s rise has come with significant environmental impacts – impacts to wild stocks, water pollution, habitat degradation and disease, says the report.


Recirculating aquaculture systems and sustainable offshore fish production systems account for less than 1% of all aquaculture business. Yet sustainable aquaculture can create responsible alternatives to overfished wild species and offer environmental benefits to land-based animal farming, according to the report, entitled Towards a Blue Revolution. As the global population grows from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050 – 3 billion of which currently rely on seafood as a primary source of protein – alternatives are urgently needed.

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