CHALLENGE STATUS: CLOSED
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The Problem

The vast majority of aquaculture farms produce only a few products such as shrimp and certain finfish. In some cases, fish and other species from aquaculture farms can be less nutritious than wild fish and even potentially unhealthy for humans as a result of bioaccumulation of antimicrobial carcinogens, antibiotics, and toxic algae. There has been less focus placed on domesticating new wild fish species or on developing plant and shellfish products. Products made from seaweed, algae and kelp, for example, are not always palatable to a wide audience despite their high protein content and versatility.

The Challenge

Create new ocean products that vastly expand the diversity, sustainability, and quality of aquaculture products to meet growing food security needs while decreasing aquaculture’s environmental footprint. Solutions must explicitly address the environmental sustainability and consumer acceptance of the products.

Environmental Sustainability

The new ocean products must not cause environmental harm to an existing species, ecological communities or ecosystems through direct or indirect effects. They must demonstrate system gains in sustainability, especially improved efficiency in energy, material, and resource advantages compared to existing aquaculture products. Products that also help address other environmental challenges, while producing new sources of food and nutrition for the developing world, are especially welcome.

Consumer Demand

There must be a clear plan to demonstrate palatability, nutritional quality, pathway to scale and adoption, expected profitability for the new ocean product at scale, including across multiple identified geographies.

Examples of potential solutions

  1. Production of food from algae for either humans or as inputs to aquaculture or agriculture farming systems.
  2. Palatable products for local and/or international consumers using alternative ocean protein sources. For example, dulse, the red algae (seaweed) that tastes like bacon.
  3. Domestication of wild caught local fish (or other products) that are more suited to growing in local conditions lessening risk of contamination and environmental damage.

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