SLU news

SLU is part of the food initiative Blue Food

Published: 09 December 2020
Fish feed in the palm of a hand. Photo.

A few weeks ago, Formas announced that one of the new food centers they will invest in have focus on seafood. Blue Food - Centre for the seafood of the future is the name of this initiative. The work within the consortium has now begun and for SLU focus is on sustainable feed for farmed fish and on how waste from aquaculture can be used in circular food systems.

The largest food investment in Swedish history

With a funding of 48 million from the Swedish Research Council Formas, the largest investment in Swedish aquaculture history begins. Aquaculture (cultivation of fish, seafood and algae) is one of the fastest growing food areas globally and has an important role to play in the food supply of the future. Today, more than 70 percent of all seafood consumed in Sweden is imported. When it comes to farmed fish, that figure is 90 percent. This is not sustainable. To increase Sweden's own food supply is a goal expressed by the Swedish Government. Sweden's National Food Strategy emphasizes that food from the sea will be even more important in the future. Seafood is nutritious and the sector has enormous potential to grow. The new initiative Blue Food - Centre for the seafood of the future will make Sweden a leading producer of sustainable seafood. 

SLU contributes to research for sustainable aquaculture

The Blue Food initiative includes research as an important part. Six PhD students will work in a number of key areas, where SLU is responsible for "Circular systems - transparent and local nutrient loops for feed and use of aquaculture manure in plant/microbial production".

Feed is the single largest influencing factor for the environment and climate in all animal production and fish farming is no exception. At the same time, recent research shows that manure from animals, and especially fish, seems to have unique biological advantages compared to a manure consisting only of pure minerals, such as artificial fertilizer.

- This centre creates a fantastic opportunity to work with the Swedish research elite in the field, to better understand how a change towards sustainable and climate-smart feed can not only provide high-quality food and jobs, but also a high-quality nutrient for both greenhouses and bioreactors as well as for the garden and fields, says Anders Kiessling, professor in Aquaculture and Markus Langeland, researcher, both active at SLU.

For SLU, this also strengthens the interdisciplinary cooperation and coordination of research between various disciplines within SLU, for example researchers from plant production in Alnarp will work together with fish researchers in Uppsala.

Blue Food - a national collaboration

This investment will involve researchers and innovation actors, regions, municipalities, organizations and about forty companies from all over the country. The vision is to grow the industry ten times larger than today and double the Swedish-produced seafood. The focus will be to develop sustainable, circular food systems and produce high-quality seafood.

Facts:

Press releases with more information about the initiative Blue Food

Page editor: aquaculture@slu.se