Whereas a lot of consumers have shown an interest in meat replacements, it seems another popular type of food will be disrupted in a similar manner. The fish industry, while suffering from many problems and drawbacks, may see some prominent improvements by using a science-based alternative protein development method. This is a very crucial development for not just the fish replacement industry, but also society as a whole.
Overfishing Remains a Problem
One of the biggest problems the fishing industry faces today is how there is a genuine degree of overfishing. Not only is this disruptive for the fish species themselves, but also all other life forms which heavily rely on fish to sustain themselves. Finding a solution to counter all of these problems will be very difficult, for rather obvious reasons.
If nothing is done about the overfishing problem, there is a very real chance a large portion of fish species will go extinct in the decades ahead. Some species are already down to a single digit percentage of their original population, which shows the time is nigh to come up with alternatives. Fish replacement through alternative protein development seems to be the right way to go in this regard, although some further testing is required.
Demand for Seafood Keeps Rising
It is no secret some regions around the world note a hefty increase in the demand for seafood. In the Western world, eating fish is somewhat less popular compared to Asian regions. Especially China has proven to be “problematic” in that regard, as its demand for seafood is already much larger than any other country. Not entirely abnormal, as China also has the biggest population of all countries today.
One of the primary reasons for this increase is how China has been hit with the African Swine Fever. This has caused a drastic decline in pork supply, which requires consumers to get their protein elsewhere. As such, seafood has now taken center stage once again, although that situation is not sustainable in the long run. Keeping up with this demand through regular fishing will cause more conflicts than solutions over time.
Farm-Raised Fish Pose Risks
At first, there was some genuine excitement regarding farm-raised fish. It removes the need for fishing in large quantities, although this is far from a perfect solution. In fact, mixing farm-raised fish with wild species is a no-go, as it will cause havoc upon the ecosystem in question. Additionally, it seems the farm-raised fish are not being delivered to regions where this method could effectively make a prominent impact either.
What About Fish Welfare?
One of the more interesting discussions as of late revolves around fish welfare. To most people, fish are food and nothing more than that. This applies to the fish caught to supply protein and food to the world’s population. However, recent research shows some species engage in social bonding and cooperation with other species. It is also believed that fish have emotions, albeit proving that to be the case will always be a crucial challenge.
Keeping that discussion in mind, it is only normal that fish replacement becomes of much greater interest as of late. It is a viable option to explore further, even if it might never fully replace traditional fishing. Plant-based fish substitutes can fill a gap and provide a tasty meal to many consumers around the globe. Following the meat replacement trend, it seems fish replacement is the next major industry to keep an eye on moving forward.