Canberra, Australia (February 29, 2016) — The blue economy has huge potential but only if we protect our oceans. Beginning today, scientists and engineers, innovators, designers, fisheries specialists, development experts, conservationists, technologists, and Nobel laureates will team up to create transformative solutions for rethinking aquaculture in the Indian Ocean region.
The innovationXchange in Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is launching a global alliance, in partnership with Conservation X Labs, SecondMuse, NineSigma, and the World Wildlife Fund, to source new solutions and engage new solvers to rethink the future of aquaculture particularly around three areas: Rethinking feeds used in aquaculture; Redesigning aquaculture systems; and Creating new ocean products, to improve both food security and enhance sustainability.
As the first step in this partnership, which uniquely brings together players in development, technology innovation and conservation science, the Alliance will launch the Blue Economy Challenge, to help create a Blue Revolution for aquaculture that can transform food security and ecological sustainability for our oceans. Through the Blue Economy Challenge, the Alliance will crowdsource the world for new approaches to aquaculture that both grow economies, improve the lives of disadvantaged people in the developing economies of the Indian Ocean region, and achieve positive environmental and social impacts pursuant to the sustainable development goals.
The aquaculture industry is a vital producer in the global fish market– it accounts for nearly half of the fish we eat. However, many aquaculture practices remain environmentally and economically unsustainable. These practices degrade land and marine habitats, risk introducing or spreading invasive species and pathogens, and pollute surrounding ecosystems. Ninety percent of aquaculture producers are located in developing countries, where lack of access to current technologies, coupled with weak regulation, are barriers to change.
Learn more about the partnership and challenge at http://www.theblueeconomychallenge.org.