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Aquatic foods – for a more sustainable food chain

Feeding the world’s population in a sustainable manner is a global challenge. Seafood and other aquatic products are often more sustainable than other animal-based foodstuffs. Kristineberg Marine Research and Innovation Centre is a part the of work to support the development and production of new, innovative marine foods.

Researchers at RISE are working to minimise the environmental impact of the aquatic food we eat and to identify smarter production methods, including by hosting the Marine Foods focus area for the Maritime Cluster of West Sweden.

“Compared to our Nordic neighbours, Sweden is relatively underdeveloped in this field,” says senior RISE researcher Friederike Ziegler. “We have adopted a more cautious approach, with restrictive regulations on permits for aquaculture, often for environmental reasons. However, there is now a clearly expressed growth strategy for aquaculture from the Swedish Board of Agriculture. This leaves the question of when rather than if investments will be made in aquaculture, and what form these will take.”

We need to link marin research to business

There is enormous potential for the development of sustainable marine industries in Sweden; however, in order to succeed, we will need to link marine research to business and innovation systems. A forum for marine research and innovation has therefore been created through the Kristineberg Marine Research and Innovation Centre, in which RISE is a partner together with institutions such as KTH, Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Lysekil Municipality.

Kristineberg provides companies with help in, for example, testing various cultivation systems and upscaling innovations through test beds and demonstration facilities. One example of a planned test bed is Testsite Akvamarin, the aim of which is to support the development of innovative new marine foods by applying life cycle assessment methods to the cultivation of fish, shellfish and algae, as well emphasising the efficient utilisation of raw materials from both fisheries and aquaculture in their entirety.

“Bearing in mind that we currently import 75% of the aquatic food we consume and that we should be eating more seafood for both health and environmental reasons, there is great potential for the development of Swedish production of sustainable seafood,” says Thomas Angervall, director of sustainable food systems at RISE.