"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."
- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist
Landbased versus Sea-based Aquaculture
|Just a few years ago, someone touting the
commercial viability of raising fish exclusively on land would have raised a
lot of eyebrows. Today, the general attitude toward land-based fish farms - in
various forms and sizes - is optimistic, particularly for salmon. |
Analysts are predicting rapid growths in land-based aquaculture systems with
production volumes expected in the hundreds of thousands. A new report from
Norwegian financing firm DNB estimates up to 500,000 tonnes of salmon will be
produced annually from land-based systems by 2026. While salmon seems to be the
species of choice for major RAS deployments, a number of aquaculture companies
are now looking at expanding their land-based operations to other species.
Among them, the high-value Yellowtail appears to be yielding successful
outcomes in various operations.
What's driving this shift are the ongoing challenges and the rising costs
associated with traditional fish farming. Added to this equation is a growing
number of consumers becoming more sophisticated with their buying decisions and
are likely to support socially responsible organizations.
A report published by market analyst Shelton Group titled, "Brands &
Stands: Social purpose is the new black," found that 64 percent of consumers
are likely to buy from companies that stand for social issues. In its 2015
Global Corporate Sustainability Report, Nielsen found 66 percent of consumers
are willing to pay more for products associated with a sustainable brand.
Clearly, there is a business case for sustainable corporate practices, and
consumers are poised to reward these activities through their pocketbooks.
Today, sustainability is no longer a trend but a market reality, especially in
food production. The increasing global demand for food has made traditional
seafood production unsustainable and driven companies to respond and adapt.
Investments in sustainable aquaculture ventures have also increased in recent
years, which paved the way for new projects commencing in various parts of the
world that would further increase production output from land-based fish farms.
It is no longer a question of whether land-based aquaculture is commercially
viable. Many ongoing and planned projects are already making the case for
commercial viability. The question now is whether organizations are willing to
take on this challenge and move toward a meaningful direction for long-term
Investments on sustainable production are trending upward and the market is
optimistic. Research and development initiatives are continuing to pursue ways
and means to enhance and improve the viability of sustainable aquaculture.
The global movement toward sustainability is only going to increase. Best to
catch the wave or risk wiping out.