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Data from: The future of food from the sea

Cite this dataset

Mangin, Tracey et al. (2021). Data from: The future of food from the sea [Dataset]. Dryad.


Global food demand is on the rise and serious questions remain about whether supply can increase sustainably. Land-based expansion is possible, but may exacerbate climate change and biodiversity loss and compromise the delivery of other ecosystem services. As food from the sea represents only 17% of current edible meat production, we ask: How much food can we expect the ocean to sustainably produce by 2050? We examine the main food-producing sectors in the ocean—wild fisheries, finfish mariculture, and bivalve mariculture—to estimate “sustainable supply curves” accounting for ecological, economic, regulatory, and technological constraints. We then overlay demand scenarios to estimate future food production from the sea. We find that under estimated demand shifts and supply scenarios that account for policy reform and technology improvements, edible food from the sea could increase by 21-44 million metric tons (mmt) (36-75% more than today). This represents 12-25% of the estimated increase in all meat needed to feed 9.8 billion people by 2050. Increases in all three sectors are likely, but are most pronounced for mariculture. While even more dramatic supply expansion is technically possible, the ultimate future of food from the sea will hinge on policy reforms, technological innovation, and the extent of future shifts in demand.


This dataset includes all data needed to run the Future of Food from the Sea study. The code to run this analysis is available in a public GitHub repository.