Shamrock is dedicated to providing sustainable high quality protein to a growing population. Apart from the fact that the Shamrock team loves to eat seafood, we believe that this industry is the answer to increasing the supply of sustainably produced protein. Aquaculture is more than 4000 years old but the modern industry is a relative newcomer; most species grown today have only been domesticated since the 20th century. In broad terms, it can be defined as the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of aquatic environments; ponds, rivers, lakes, oceans.
- Aquaculture producers farm a huge variety (at least 600 species) of freshwater and marine fish, shellfish, and plants.
- Seafood provides a critical source of protein for around 3 billion of the world’s people.
- The planet’s appetite for seafood is growing and over the last 50 years per capita consumption increased from 10 kg to 19 kg annually. As the world’s population grows towards an expected 9 billion by 2050, protein will have to be produced in a more efficient and sustainable way.
- According to FAO “With capture fisheries production stagnating, major increases in fish food production are forecast to come from aquaculture. Taking into account the population forecast, an additional 27 million tons of production will be needed to maintain the present level of per capita consumption in 2030.”
- The recent World Bank analysis (Fish to 2030) projects that aquaculture will continue to fill the supply-demand gap, and that by 2030, 62% of fish for human consumption will come from this industry.
- Globally, aquaculture is the fastest growing agribusiness worth $80 billion with an annual growth rate rate of 9 percent since 1970 (compared with 2.9 percent for terrestrial farmed meat production)
- Progress in domestication and breeding, systems and feed technology has fueled the expansion of commercial aquaculture.
- Currently, nearly 85% of global fish stocks are either fully exploited or actually depleted. Annual growth since 1970 has been only 2.3% annually.
Seafood for a Healthy Planet
- Increasing wealth in countries such as India, China and Brazil will continue to drive up demand for high quality protein – meat and fish.
- Seafood is highly nutritional, providing high quality protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and D, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, selenium, taurine and iodine.
- Scientific studies continue to reveal the relationship between the unique type of fat found in seafood, the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, in the prevention or mitigation of common chronic diseases.
- Current advice from government agencies (e.g. USDA, US National Institutes of Health, UK National Health Service, Norwegian Directorate of Health etc) recommends eating two seafood meals per week.
- Government scientists, researchers, and healthcare professionals have all concluded that for most people the overall benefits of seafood consumption outweigh any potential food safety risks.
Sustainable, Safe Seafood Production
- Clearly there is no room for growth in the world’s wild fisheries. Aquaculture can play a vital role by alleviating pressure on global fish stocks an filling the supply gap.
- Fish use less water (they live in it but they don’t “use “ much), they convert feed more efficiently than cattle, poultry or sheep, partly because they are cold blooded and they are supported by their environment against gravity – they don’t stand up.
- Seafood produced locally will have less distance to travel to the marketplace (less “food miles”)
- Farmed seafood can be fully traceable, from egg to plate. We think consumers should know where their seafood comes from, that it has been grown according to best practices, and that the product has been handled properly and delivered to the customer in optimum condition.
- Farmed seafood supply can be predictable and of consistent quality and product form.
- Because we can control what we feed our fish, we can produce products that are free from mercury, PCBs, heavy metals and other contaminants.
- When comparing the carbon footprint of farmed fish, in this case salmon, to terrestrial meat production, the carbon footprint for the farmed fish is 2.9kg carbon equivalents per kg of edible product whereas corresponding numbers are 3.4kg, 5.9kg, and 30kg for chicken and pork and beef!