Helping communities thrive with sustainability

Sustainable aquaculture and agriculture
© iStock/GoodLifeStudio

SecondMuse: helping communities thrive by developing more sustainable and equitable local economies.

SecondMuse collaborates with visionary governments, corporations, foundations and start-ups to build 21st-century economies. At the core of their economies are people, communities and networks. From Brooklyn to Bali, SecoundMuse’s programs span geographies, sectors and size of business. They tackle essential challenges in manufacturing, energy, capital, education, mental health, data, civic engagement, food, blockchain, disaster risk and more around the world. Some current programs include NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, and the M-Corps cleantech manufacturing program with NYSERDA.

When it comes to aquaculture, ‘aquacelerator’ is an effort to revolutionise the aquaculture industry, develop local economies across the Indian Ocean region and improve our relationship with oceans, fishing and aquatic life, by connecting inspiring innovators with the networks capable of turning their ideas into reality. Led by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), InnovationXchange, in partnership with SecondMuse, Aquacelerator advances the global adoption and scale of the ten most inspiring ideas surfaced during the Blue Economy Challenge.

SciTech Europa Quarterly speaks to Director of Acceleration, Jeremy Kamo, about the importance of the Blue Economy Challenge, and the role SecoundMuse plays in protecting the wider environment.

What is the current situation of our oceans, in terms of aquaculture and sustainability?

The world’s population is expected to rise to 9.6 billion by 2050, creating an enormous demand for food and sources of protein. Unfortunately, in many of the world’s oceans, unsustainable fishing practices are leading to significant declines in the health of our oceans, particularly in developing countries where much of the world’s seafood is sourced and fish and fish products supply a significant portion of the daily intake of animal protein. As marine yields decline, aquaculture farms are growing to supply an increasing share of seafood to global markets. While many current aquaculture practices are environmentally unsustainable and do not equitably share value across the supply chain.

What is the work and role of the blue economy challenge? What are the three main challenges, and how can these be overcome?

We believe that by invigorating innovations in this sector, we can make significant contributions to environmentally sustainable food security, as well as social and economic inclusion for some of the world’s poorest people. Through the Blue Economy Challenge we sought to address three critical challenges:

  1. How to create highly nutritional aquaculture feed replacements that reduce the burden on the natural environment;

2. How communities can create new ocean products, to increase the diversity of seafood available for food security while decreasing aquaculture’s environmental footprint;

3. Identifying and introducing new technology and practices for aquaculture farmers we can improve the efficiency and environmental and economic sustainability of aquaculture farms.

What is the importance of reengineering aquaculture for sustainability, and what impact do you hope this will achieve on a wider scale?

One-fifth of wild fish caught annually (around 17 million tons) is used as feed for farmed fish and prawns. This practice is unsustainable and is a critical threat to the global aquafeed and aquaculture industries’ viability, as well as the underserved populations that rely on wild fish, as a particularly important source of nutrition. Three of our innovators, South Africa based ‘AgriProtein’, a ‘CSIRO and WorldFish’ team and Tanzania based ‘The Recycler’, have all developed novel approaches to use alternative sources of protein to produce high quality fishmeal replacements at both industrial and smallholder levels. These innovations provide sustainable and reliable feed alternatives for fish production as traditional fish stocks diminish leading to unreliable quality and increasing feed costs.

What is next for SecondMuse? What other areas/projects are you currently working on?

In our work to protect the environment, from agriculture and grasslands, to forests, and particularly oceans, we have learned that it all comes back to working with communities, and to help the people, the families and particularly the women of those communities find jobs, build businesses and develop local economies, giving them alternatives to environmentally destructive practices.

In addition to our work in sustainable seafood, we’ve been working with Circulate Capital, The Circulate Initiative, the Ocean Conservancy, and a host of private sector, government agencies and non-profits to set up the Incubator Network to reduce the amount of plastics that leak into the oceans by helping communities recognise and capture the value in recycled plastics. Ultimately, across all of our work, we’re trying to help communities thrive by developing more sustainable and equitable local economies.

Jeremy Kamo

Director of Accleration


Tweet @secondmuse


Disclaimer: This article is featured in the December issue of SciTech Europa Quarterly.

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