Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission

The pros and cons of cell-cultured seafood

Category Aquaculture

The document is a brief of showcase of a specific aquaculture innovation. It contains main information on the technique and approach used, scope and scale of application, accessibility and the outcome and benefits of the innovation.

Currently cell-based producers are focusing on high-value species. The start-ups currently involved in cell-cultured seafood are based in the world’s technology hubs – from Silicon Valley to Singapore. The scope of the application is limited by the high production costs. While the costs are decreasing exponentially, they are still too high for cell-culture firms to compete price-wise with conventional seafood products. Most countries have yet to pass regulations regarding the consumption of cell-cultured products. Should cell-based seafood be produced on an industrial scale and at a reasonable cost, then it could help to take the pressure off wild fish stocks. Compared to aquaculture – much of which relies on feeds that include arable crops and marine ingredients – cell culture makes it possible to create tonnes of animal protein with minimal land use.