Jacques Cousteau, an ocean explorer, said: “We must treat the ocean as farmers, not hunters. This is the meaning of civilization - farming instead of hunting”. Today, perhaps the only food that humanity preys on a massive scale is fish.
Despite the fact that the ocean is the main source of animal protein, world fisheries are more than 2.5 times higher than the sustainable volume of the ocean reproduction, and humanity must clearly realize that the resources of the ocean will be depleted.
In addition to the expected reduction in seafood, there is a risk of the disappearance of oceanic microorganisms, which are the main and most massive source of oxygen.
Today, the world community consumes more than 65 million tons of seafood per year for food and more than 30 million tons of seafood per year for the production of animal and fish feed components.
The development of land-based aquaculture facilities can provide a sustainable supply of seafood and reduce environmental damage to the ocean.
In addition to eliminating all possible ocean pollution, land-based aquaculture saves the cost of feed and fresh water, which is also a high factor in importance.
To understand the efficiency of production, we can consider a good example of the average ratio of feed consumption and protein content in the grown products:
- seafood: 31% with an FCR of 1.1;
- poultry: 21% with an FCR of 2.2;
- pork: 18% with an FCR of 3.0;
- beef: 15% with an FCR of 4.0 - 10.0.
The indicator of protein content is the average amount of protein absorbed by the human body when consumed in food.
FCR is an indicator of feed consumption to individual growth. In fact, for an increase in fish mass per kilogram, 1.1 kg of feed is required, while a cow requires up to 10 kg.
This difference in the feed coefficient is associated with the cold-blooded fish (lower energy costs for warming) and their habitat (fish living in water spends less energy to fight gravity).
In addition, fish does not consume water in a form such as a cow. The average daily intake of cow water is 100 litres.
Of all the existing methods for growing protein products, land-based aquaculture has the highest potential to reduce the degradation of natural resources on a large scale and ensure the most economical food security.