This report sets out to explain and explore the emerging alternative seafood sector. It focuses on identifying research questions regarding the implications of alternative seafood for food and nutrition security, livelihoods and the environment in low- and middle-income nations. The report presents an overview of both the “conventional seafood” sector, comprised of fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the alternative seafood sector.
Fish/seafood represents an increasingly important source of animal protein in diets globally. Aquaculture growth, which already constitutes half of all seafood consumed by humans, is critical to meet increasing demand for fish. Concern among consumers and regulators over the safety and environmental sustainability of seafood, particularly in developed nations, has led to the development of stringent seafood safety standards in the global North.
Sustainability standards for seafood mainly address environmental performance criteria and are less concerned with the welfare of fisheries workers who produce the seafood. Yet human rights violations such as slavery and human trafficking are widespread in fisheries around the world, and underscore the need for certification bodies and other seafood supply chain actors to improve social performance, in addition to addressing environmental challenges.