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Aerial shot of aquaculture ponds in the Hue coastal lagoons, Vietnam.

Aquaculture ponds in the Hue coastal lagoons, Vietnam.

Credit: Andrea Pistolesi / Getty Images


Call to action:

Support regenerative aquaculture for ecosystem health, community resilience, and as an alternative to industrialized “factory farming” in oceans and waterways.

Aquaculture is the cultivation of plant and animal species in water environments for commercial, recreational, and public purposes. Many Indigenous and traditional societies have practiced local aquaculture for centuries. Aquaculture is expanding as an alternative food supply to feed a global population projected to add two billion people by 2050 because wild fish stocks are collapsing and industrial agriculture is depleting land and freshwater supplies. Aquaculture now produces almost half of the seafood consumed globally. However, industrial aquaculture often requires an intensification of production and distribution that can adversely affect environments, communities, and cultures. Further research, improved regulation, and increased investment are needed to mitigate these effects and implement practices that improve human and environmental health. Regenerative aquaculture can enhance food sovereignty and food security, preserve cultural heritage and biological diversity, and strengthen ecosystem and community resilience.

Action Items


Learn about the history of aquaculture and its importance for societies around the world. Aquaculture, both on land and at sea, is cited throughout the ancient world. Examples include:

Discover the different forms of aquaculture. Production includes both saltwater and freshwater species and the use of both land-based and marine-based farming systems. Models include:

Understand the rise of industrialized aquaculture and its consequences for ecological and human systems. Aquaculture is the world’s fastest-growing food sector. Global fish consumption by midcentury will increase by nearly 80 percent, and the growing demand may be met by a big rise in aquaculture. Other takeaways:

Explore the positives of regenerative aquaculture for supporting ecosystems and local communities. Regenerative aquaculture is defined as commercial or subsistence systems that provide positive and restorative environmental outcomes. The Global Principles of Restorative Aquaculture establishes parameters for this definition. Aquaculture advances all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals when done responsibly. Explore how it may benefit the environment and enhance ecosystem services like carbon capture. More points:

Source your seafood and demand improved standards from both suppliers and distributors. From a culinary point of view, “seafood” generally includes both saltwater and freshwater species used for human consumption. Thus, all aquaculture food products – 624 different species – whether done inland or at sea, are likely sold under this umbrella term. Additional considerations:



Investigate industry standards and help implement best practices for regenerative aquaculture systems.

Nonprofits and Other Organizations

Establish networks and partnerships for knowledge sharing, consumer literacy, community engagement, and pilot project implementation.

Private Investors and Philanthropy Groups

Invest in start-up businesses piloting regenerative aquaculture practices, transparent supply chains, and new restorative technologies.


Aquaculture Farmers and Farming Businesses

Promote community, worker, and ecosystem health by investing in and implementing best practices for regenerative aquaculture, plus act as a role model for others.

Apply for grant programs and consultancy services that may lessen costs and provide guidance for improving facilities, production processes, and management strategies.

  • ASC International founded a Global Improver Program to support seafood farmers who are not yet ready or eligible for the ASC certification process and are committed to improving their social and environmental practices through an Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP). Learn more about the requirements to participate and explore farms that are already in progress.
  • The Regenerative Ocean Farming Hub by Greenwave offers a free seed-to-sale training program designed by and for ocean farmers. Plus, connect with over 6,000 other users via the Ocean Farming Community. Easily get started on the platform. They also offer a Kelp Climate Fund, a subsidy for ocean farmers to advance climate mitigation and reef restoration, and the free platform Seaweed Source for seaweed farmers to discover and connect with new partners to align kelp supply and demand.
  • The Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR) program by the Nature Conservancy works with partners to support a “win-win” for the oyster industry and reef restoration. Efforts include the Purchase Program and Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund to support market growth and product distribution.
  • The Singapore-based social enterprise Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC) created a stakeholder engagement platform to foster fishery improvements. They work with producers, processors, and buyers through Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs) to implement. They have assessed over 1200 farms and partnered with over 1000 producers. Explore their guide for verification.
  • The non-profit Native Conservancy works with frontline Alaskan Indigenous communities to build resilience through social enterprise programs via their Resilient Community Building program while providing financial assistance through the Native Regenerative Fund.


Develop clear regulatory programs within governments for aquaculture and then improve permitting, reporting, monitoring, and traceability requirements.


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