Now here is a sector that sits at the heart of our island nation's romantic notions of self... The image of brave trawlermen battling crashing waves and lashing winds to bring the fruits of the sea home to our tables is one that has inspired fine paintings, poetry and song (to my food industry colleagues currently trying to grow a pork chop in a petri dish - I salute you, and your work is of real value, but no-one is writing a hymn about it any time soon...)

Stories of environmental damage to our oceans anger and frighten us in equal measure. The notion that we may be depleting seafood stocks beyond replenishment scares us even as we quietly accept our share of the blame. It seems impossible to square the circle of feeding a rapidly growing population and doing it sustainably and cleanly.

This article in New Food, therefore, may come as a breath of fresh (sea) air...  It posits the possibility of growing production levels of seafood by up to 75% by use of progressive, targeted policies and technology to improve mariculture. It is certainly true that the battle between environmental concerns and large-scale farming presents particular problems for land-based food production. 

So, could this be part of a larger solution to issues of food security over the coming decades? Certainly the argument for the best use of emerging technology, better management of the processes and positive legislation is very convincing.  And if a collaborative approach brings us sustainable fish stocks in cleaner environments and fewer issues with PCBs, PAHs , heavy metals etc. there will be few detractors.