Famed music festival South by Southwest features panel on aquaculture for first time

For the first time, famed music and culture festival South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, featured a panel on aquaculture dubbed “The Future of Food: Aquaculture” on 11 March.

The panel was led by Andrew Zimmern, host of The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” who is also a restaurant operator. In addition to Zimmern, the panel included Rod Fujita, co-founder of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oceans Program; Fiona Lewis, owner and operator of retail market The District Fishwife; and James Wright, editor of the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s “Global Aquaculture Advocate” magazine.

The need for more farmed fish is incredibly apparent, Zimmern noted during the panel. The health of the oceans is suffering, due to climate change, marine pollution and other factors. While demand for seafood continues to grow with the global population, 60 percent of major fish species are fished at sustainable levels, 33 percent of fish species are fished at unsustainable levels, and just 7 percent of fish are under-fished, Zimmern said.

Plus, more studies are finding that it is healthier to eat less meat and more seafood and vegetables.

“A recent Lancet study and everything else tells you we can be eating more fish because of how good it is for us. 150 grams of fish provides nearly 60 percent of the daily protein requirement,” Zimmern said.

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