If you’re a talented young data scientist scouting the next frontier, where do you go? If you’re a biotech pioneer hunting for new ways to apply cutting-edge concepts, where do you look? If you’re a global powerhouse that doesn’t want to miss the next big market opportunity, what’s on your radar?
Seriously. That answer may be an outlier now, but soon it will be on everyone’s lips. Change in the seafood industry has only been incremental for the past 50 years or so. Now the sector is on the cusp of thoroughly reimagining products, supply chains, and technologies, much like the communications sector did after the iPhone. Five accelerating global trends are driving market demand behind this transformation: the need to predict and understand climate change impacts; wild fish stocks nearing maximum sustainable yield; product globalization and the rise of online sales; the worldwide growth of a health-conscious middle class; and aquaculture’s rapid expansion.
These five trends are opening up new markets in the seafood sector, and entrepreneurs around the world are racing to capture a share of these global opportunities. We can see the transformation happening by comparing this year’s 184 Fish 2.0 competitors with those from previous years. Seafood is now attracting innovative thinkers and teams with significant venture experience, and they’re applying approaches born in other industries to seafood’s toughest sustainability and supply chain challenges.
Intrigued by this shift, we analyzed our extensive data on seafood ventures and found that all the innovative ventures in our pipeline fall into four broad categories linked to the five global trends. The diagram below illustrates how these trends are inspiring innovation in the sustainable seafood sector.
Let’s look at each innovation category in more detail.