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The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) announces the convening of the Global Aquaculture Industry Advisory Council with fresh multi-stakeholder representation from 11 academia, civil society, industry, public sector, and sustainability certification organisations around the world, thereby reaffirming the U.S. Soy farmers and industry's commitment to shaping a growing and sustainable aquaculture industry.

A rising global population, increasing urbanisation, and consumer consciousness about health and the climate, is driving global demand for sustainable protein, putting aquaculture and soybeans at the centre of the opportunity to have a significant positive impact.

Approximately 3.3 billion people rely on seafood for almost 20 percent of their average per capita intake of protein making it the world's largest traded food commodity. The amount of seafood produced by aquaculture now exceeds wild catch. Total fish production is expected to expand from 179 million tonnes in 2018 to 204 million tonnes in 2030 (Source: FAO). Aquaculture consumption increased 122 percent from 1990 to 2018, and production is projected to reach 109 million tons in 2030 (Source: FAO).

The 11-member USSEC Global Aquaculture Industry Advisory Council includes Allen Davis, Auburn University; Antonio Garza, World Aquaculture Society; Erik Olav Gracey, BioMar; Dr. Xue Min, China Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Steve Hart, Global Seafood Alliance; Sebastian Belle, Maine Aquaculture Association; Jose Antonio Camposano, National Chamber of Aquaculture, Ecuador; Neil Sims, Ocean Era; Glenn Kleppe, Regal Springs; Ken Overturf, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Tom Domino, Wakefern Food Corp.

'Aquaculture  has immense potential  to  help meet the world's nutrition and food security needs  as an affordable  and sustainable  source of protein. The USSEC Global Aquaculture Industry Advisory Council is a testament to the commitment of U.S. Soy farmers and industry, as well as of visionary leaders across the value chain from aquaculture feed, research, and sustainability certification - to shape a growing and sustainable aquaculture ecosystem,' says Courtney Knupp, USSEC director - Aquaculture and Animal Nutrition Meal.

'The past year has created many challenges for the seafood industry, as well as new opportunities for innovation and partnerships to advance sustainability. The combined knowledge, expertise and understanding of global market trends, best practices, economics of production, industry opportunities and challenges represented on USSEC's Global Aquaculture Industry Advisory Council can help build and support the sustainable long-term growth of global aquaculture,' says Steven Hart, vice president of Market Development (Asia, Oceania, EU, UK) for the Global Seafood Alliance – an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture and the leading standards-setting organisation for aquaculture seafood.

Soy protein is an excellent source of protein for the aquaculture and aquafeed industry worldwide. It is an important protein source in the aquaculture diet due to its high protein content, balanced amino acid profile, and high level of digestibility for most cultured fish and shrimp species. As such, it can replace high-cost animal proteins and yields optimal fish growth. A large majority of aquaculture diets now contain 25-30 percent soy as a key part of the formulation, and there are a variety of applications in which soy products can be used in aquaculture diets, including, soybean meal, soybean oil, soy protein concentrate, full fat soybean meal, fermented soy, soy lecithin, soy hulls and soy isolates, among others.

Antonio Garza, President, World Aquaculture Society adds, 'We need to take a systemic approach for aquaculture that advances sustainable growth across the entire value chain, from farmers to feed companies to seafood companies to consumers. The World Aquaculture Society looks forward to engaging with diverse global stakeholders on USSEC's Global Aquaculture Industry Advisory Council to share a profitable and sustainable aquaculture industry.'

USSEC, in collaboration with the soy checkoff, is committed to continued investment in research on fish nutrition, the development of aquaculture technologies, and providing technical expertise and partnerships. USSEC continues to work collaboratively with producers, feed manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and other ancillary industry sectors to address all aspects of the production cycle for aquaculture.

The USSEC Global Aquaculture Industry Advisory Council will meet at least twice a year, with the first meeting scheduled for September 2021 virtually.

For more information about the U.S. Soybean Export Council visit their website, HERE

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