As human populations grow and increase in prosperity, the global demand for protein is anticipated to skyrocket over the next several decades. And with almost all of the world’s arable land overtaxed already, new sources of protein and other food are needed, with only the ocean as a viable opportunity. But we need to meet the rapidly growing global demand for seafood without destroying ocean ecosystems. Wild fisheries have likely peaked, and current industrial fishing practices are wasteful, killing millions of unused fish, birds, sea turtles and marine mammals.
Aquaculture, or fish farming, is already making up for the losses in some wild-caught fisheries, and it is one of the fastest-growing food production systems. Yet aquaculture will need to more than double in size by 2050 to meet growing seafood demand, and many current aquaculture farms are inefficient, destructive to the environment and so filthy that they can threaten human health. In many cases aquaculture does more harm than good.
This prize will transform the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of aquaculture farms by developing cutting-edge techniques for “aquaponics” which combines sustainable aquaculture and sustainable hydroponic agriculture techniques into a closedloop facility. This method of aquaculture greatly increases overall food production using less space, and lessens environmental impact. The sustainable aquaculture prize will catalyze the growth of the aquaculture industry by inspiring breakthroughs that create the world’s most sustainable animal protein while fostering economic growth and protecting the environment.
The winning team will design and construct a closedsystem aquaponics farm growing more than four total species comprised of both plants and aquatic animals on X acres of land or water, which sells the most tons of food in a year’s time while achieving high sustainability standards.
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