U.S. aquaculture advocacy group Stronger America Through Seafood penned a letter last week urging President Joe Biden to prioritize seafood production to help mitigate climate change and outline the climate impacts and potential benefits of aquaculture in the country.

“As our federal leaders seek innovative solutions to address the climate crisis, aquaculture, one of the most resource-efficient methods for protein production, should be considered as a tool to help feed our growing population responsibly while protecting our planet,” SATS campaign manager Margaret Henderson said. “Through federal action, the [Biden] administration and Congress can establish a clear regulatory pathway for permitting offshore aquaculture that would support a sustainable seafood future, increase the resiliency of our food systems, and create new jobs in communities nationwide.”

The letter was signed by over 70 aquaculture advocates, including scientists, environmental advocates and industry leaders.

“As your Administration works towards the goal of net-zero carbon emissions no later than 2050, we the undersigned ask that you consider sustainable aquaculture production as a tool to help mitigate climate change, as well as contribute towards feeding a growing population,” the letter said.

SATS, citing research from the United Nations, explains that the global human population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, and demand for healthful animal protein will rise by as much as 88 percent – and that seafood can help meet that gap in a sustainable way.

“Well-managed marine aquaculture development could increase the resiliency of our food systems to future environmental, social, and economic shocks, including the impacts of climate change,” the letter said.

The group specifically references the environmental benefits of seaweed farming, which can “sequester carbon and may be used as a tool to mitigate global warming by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.”

The advocacy group also suggested that the prioritization of domestic aquaculture would be a boon for the growth of the American seafood community.

Last month, SATS officially launched a campaign that aims to create a sense of urgency for Congress to act swiftly on aquaculture expansion in the country called “Essential Aquaculture.” Specifically, SATS is calling on Congress to clarify a regulatory pathway for permitting offshore aquaculture.

“As Congress debates ways to address the many pressing challenges we face, including economic recovery, food security, and environmental challenges, aquaculture should be considered as one of the solutions,” SATS Campaign Manager Margaret Henderson said of the campaign’s goals. “The expansion of American aquaculture is essential to the U.S. economy. Aquaculture can strengthen American communities by supporting new jobs and a diverse workforce in a post-pandemic world. Increased seafood production would also ensure families have a steady supply of affordable American-raised seafood produced sustainably with minimal impact on the environment, which is essential to climate and conservation efforts.”

Photo courtesy of archna nautiyal/Shutterstock

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