Can Plant- and Cell-Based Seafood Improve Human and Planetary Health: An examination of the environmental, social and economic costs and benefits of seafood alternatives
Meghan Jeans
This white paper, which is based on information and insight gleaned from the workshop as well expert interviews and a literature review, provides a preliminary examination of market trends and the potential environmental, socio-economic, and human health costs and benefits of plant- and cell-based seafood relative to wild capture fisheries and aquaculture. As plant- and cell-based seafood alternatives are still in their infancy, there remain a lot of untested assumptions, unanswered questions and opportunities for further research, inquiry and collaboration. Indeed, there are research, funding, governance and capacity gaps that present obstacles to understanding, comparing, developing and scaling plant- and cell-based seafood alternatives. Still, diversification of our food system to include new modes of sustainable, healthy and socially responsible seafood production is needed to mitigate risk and to feed a growing global population. Whether seafood alternatives can meet this need, and whether they will supplement or displace conventional seafood products in the marketplace, will be a function of many factors, not the least of which is product alignment with consumer values and expectations around taste and texture, cost parity, and accessibility. The findings and conclusions stated in this white paper, commissioned by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), are those of Meghan Jeans, and not necessarily WCS. WCS does not recommend or endorse any plant-based or cell-based seafood or other commercial products mentioned in the white paper.
alternative seafood; aquaculture; plant-based seafood; cell-based seafood; alternative proteins

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