Land-Based Aquaculture Systems
Consumer Benefits of Land-Based Aquaculture Systems
By 2020, the global demand for animal protein is projected to be 20 million tonnes per year. AquAdvantage® Salmon will help address the need for healthy protein by producing more fish in less time compared to current salmon farming techniques. AquAdvantage® Salmon can be grown in contained, land-based facilities which offer many environmental advantages compared to conventional cultivation methods.
Salmon is a popular seafood choice, not only for taste but for the well-documented health benefits. This has increased demand for farmed and wild salmon products that the aquaculture industry and capture fisheries will not be able to meet.
Atlantic salmon is a great source of heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. AquAdvantage® eggs will be grown in land-based salmon hatcheries and grow-out facilities that will provide high-quality facility management and control. There is a lower likelihood for the introduction and spread of disease, and a corresponding reduction in the need for disease treatment. In addition, AquAdvantage® Salmon do not contain toxins.
Environmental Benefits of Land-Based Aquaculture Systems
Many of the world’s fisheries are being harvested at their maximum sustainable yield while some are in danger of collapse. A 2006 study published in Science predicted the loss of all commercially captured species of fish by 2048 if fishing practices were not altered and fisheries were not better managed. Yet fishing continues as the demand for seafood increases. The vast majority of Atlantic salmon sold in the U.S. is farmed. Many American wild salmon populations are in steep decline, so much so that commercial fishing runs on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts have been closed. By providing a ready source of faster-growing fish, salmon grown from AquAdvantage® eggs can help reduce pressure on wild fish stocks.
Accelerated growth means shorter production cycles and more efficient use of feed. The feed conversion rate for AquAdvantage® Salmon is approximately 20-25% better than other farmed salmon. Additionally, there are emerging technologies in the salmon feed industry that use more sustainable foodstuffs for salmon feeds, reducing the amount of fishmeal and fish oil used.
Because fresh and frozen fish are flown to markets all over the world, seafood has a large carbon footprint. AquAdvantage® Salmon can be grown in land-based facilities built closer to consumers to reduce the need for energy-intensive air freight shipping and transportation.
The contained, land-based systems used by customers of AquAdvantage® eggs are endorsed by most environmental groups as a more environmentally-friendly and responsible alternative to traditional sea-cage farming of salmon.
Fish grown from AquAdvantage® eggs are all female and sterile, making it impossible for them to breed among themselves and with other salmon. In addition, FDA approval requires them to be grown in physically contained land-based systems, further reducing any potential impact on wild populations.
Business Benefits of Land-Based Aquaculture Systems
Faster growth and greater feed efficiency mean a more efficient use of capital, reduced feed costs and less time to market. Better economics makes interest in land-based aquaculture feasible, which leads to better bio-security, reduced disease risk and the opportunity to grow salmon closer to consumer markets.
The majority of seafood consumed in the U.S. is in restaurants. The AquAdvantage® Salmon will help increase domestic supply to satisfy growing demand with a dependable, environmentally responsible, high quality product.
Aquaculture provides opportunities for U.S. jobs. Today the U.S. imports over 97% of the Atlantic salmon sold to consumers. The introduction of land-based salmon farms in the U.S. would spur investment in this industry in our country.