Aquaculture is a vital global industry accounting for nearly 50 percent of the seafood we eat. But as seafood farming gains momentum worldwide, we need to ensure it evolves as an environmentally sustainable practice. To foster that growth, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is joining forces with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Conservation X Labs and SecondMuse to launch the Blue Economy Challenge, a global challenge asking innovators, designers, entrepreneurs, businesses, technologists and scientists to help reduce the greatest threats to our oceans.
The Blue Economy challenge seeks to jumpstart innovations that will revolutionize environmentally sustainable aquaculture in the developing world. When brought to scale, these innovations will help conserve oceans and marine resources, use existing resources sustainably, combat poverty and hunger, and ensure access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. More than $2 million USD will be available to turn solutions into action.
This first challenge addresses three topics: rethinking the feeds used in aquaculture, redesigning aquaculture systems and creating new and nutritious ocean products that improve food security and enhance sustainability, such as finding new uses for ocean vegetables like kelp and seaweed.
“Global demand for seafood is growing and farming seafood can have significant impacts to wild fish and ecosystems,” said WWF Vice President for Oceans Brad Ack. “We need new thinkers and inventors to help us find solutions. We hope this challenge will help us find innovations and new partnerships that lead to durable solutions. If so, we can strengthen food security, ocean health and local economies, all at the same time. ”
The challenge will open for online applications through June 30, 2016. The winners will be announced in September.