Meat alternatives are officially mainstream. To wit, Burger King added the plant-based Impossible Burger to its menu nationwide in 2019, and McDonald’s plans to unveil its own McPlant in 2021.
Alongside these vegetarian options, many companies are also working to culture meat outside of animals grown from cell lines. Proponents highlight a range of potential environmental and health benefits offered by this emerging industry, and several companies believe that these benefits could also play out with seafood.
A multidisciplinary team of researchers has taken a good, hard look at what it would take for cell-based seafood to deliver conservation benefits. They have compiled their findings into a paper in the journal Fish & Fisheries in which they lay out the road map to change, comprising nine distinct steps. The authors contend that cell-based seafood faces a long, narrow path toward recovering fish stocks in the ocean, with success ultimately determined by the complex interplay of behavioral, economic and ecological factors.