News & Events

Regional e-Notes: July Letter from the Director

Jul 31, 2018


As you know, a common theme of my monthly messages and a focus of the work coming out of our Center is the reduction of waste. Upon reading through the recently released SOFIA report from the FAO, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the global seafood supply chain is working together to simultaneously increase supply and reduce waste.

According to the report, we now have more seafood available for consumers than in previous years. The majority of the increase is due to a bump in aquaculture production, but a significant portion is due to a decrease in waste. The category of non-food uses of total available seafood from both aquaculture and capture fisheries has decreased from 15.6% in 2011 to 11.5% in 2016. In addition, the commercial fishing industry has taken measures to reduce by-catch while the aquaculture industry has increased opportunities to utilize by-catch. For example, the CTSA-funded project working to establish marine finfish production in the Marshall Islands has developed a feed that includes by-catch as a primary source of protein.

As the global seafood industry continues to grow and change, we may want to broaden our definition of aquaculture to include reducing harvest waste from both aquaculture and fisheries. I believe if and when we do this, the picture will become clear that aquaculture can be and already is one of the most sustainable ways to produce protein for our growing global population. Furthermore, focusing our efforts on working together to reduce waste will not only protect the environment but will also help to reduce hunger - the primary purpose of our food production industries.


Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CTSA