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Sustainable Seafood: Barriers and Opportunities in the Fishing Industry

Dive into the environmental and social impacts of different fishing practices and discover sustainable approaches and innovations.

1,371 enrolled on this course

Process of fishing seafood sustainably
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Digital upgrade

  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Understand the true environmental and social impact of fisheries and aquaculture

As we discover more about unsustainable and damaging fishing practices, it’s important to have an accurate understanding of the problem in order to take action.

On this three-week course, you’ll gain a nuanced understanding of the environmental and social problems of the fishing industry. Moving beyond just the impacts of fisheries, you’ll delve into fish farming and aquaculture to gain a comprehensive insight into different fishing industries.

With this knowledge, you’ll explore approaches and innovations to make these practices more sustainable.

Learn to define sustainable fisheries and seafood

Sustainable seafood is a complex topic, which is often hard to navigate as a consumer. You’ll learn to define what is meant by sustainable seafood and use this understanding to critique sustainable seafood products.

You’ll also explore how stakeholders and the growth of seafood demand affects the industry’s sustainability and the issues this causes for the oceans.

Dive into ocean science and the barriers to sustainable seafood

With an understanding of what sustainable seafood means, you’ll start to unpack the barriers faced by the industry. You’ll learn about wild-capture fisheries, quotas, and catch policy as you explore case studies related to unsustainable fishing.

Next, you’ll discover the challenges of fish farming and aquaculture, including welfare, species selection, and health.

Discover sustainable fishing solutions

Finally, you’ll unpack the opportunities for sustainable solutions such as improved fishing techniques and marine protected areas.

By the end of the course created by FoodUnfolded® in collaboration with EIT Food Education partners, you’ll have a solid understanding of the impacts of the fishing industry as well as the sustainable innovations to transform its practices.

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  • Week 1

    Defining sustainable seafood

    • Welcome to the course

      This first activity introduces the course topic and the educators.

    • Stakeholder’s mapping

      This activity explores the stakeholders involved in the seafood value chain.

    • The growth of seafood demand and its impact

      This activity focuses on the increasing demand for seafood and the consequences it may have on the oceans and communities.

    • Seafood production and consumption

      This activity gives an overview of the components of sustainable seafood supply chains and provides insights on seafood consumption patterns.

    • Summary

      Week 1 wrap-up.

  • Week 2

    Sustainable seafood: Barriers

    • Introduction

      This activity introduces the second week of the course.

    • Barriers to sustainable wild-capture fisheries

      This activity focuses on obstacles preventing the implementation of sustainable practices in fisheries.

    • Challenges of aquaculture management

      This activity explores some of the main challenges of aquaculture management.

    • Consequences of unsustainable practices

      This activity explores the consequences of unsustainable practices for both the environment & humans.

    • Summary

      Week 2 wrap-up.

  • Week 3

    Sustainable seafood: An ocean of opportunities

    • Introduction

      This activity introduces the final week of the course.

    • Opportunities in the seafood industry

      This activity focuses on the many opportunities to improve practices within the seafood industry.

    • Improving fisheries management

      This activity focuses on solutions to improve fisheries management.

    • Improving aquaculture management

      This activity focuses on solutions to improve aquaculture management.

    • Course summary

      This is the final activity of the course, wrapping up all learnings.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the environmental impacts of fisheries, and fisheries management practices and innovations that make it more sustainable
  • Explore the fish farming food chain and its environmental and socio-economic impacts
  • Evaluate the benefits and limitations of varying aquaculture species on health and the environment
  • Explore ocean science and marine technologies
  • Identify or critique ‘sustainable’ seafood products as a consumer
  • Apply your understanding to address the sustainability challenges of consuming living marine resources

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about the environmental and social impacts of the fishing industry.

Whether you want to become a conscious consumer, you’re a marine biology student, or you’re simply curious about fishing and the environment, this course will help you gain knowledge of sustainable seafood.

Please note that a video introduction of the course can be found here.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on this topic, you might also find of interest the following EIT Food courses on food system and sustainability:

Who will you learn with?

Editor at FoodUnfolded, working to bridge the gap between science, food systems, and the public. Focussed on marine resources, with a background in marine science and aquaculture

Editor-in-Chief of FoodUnfolded®. For the last 10 years, I have worked to bridge environmental and social issues with behavioral change through storytelling and science communication.

I am a Professor at the Scottish Association for Marine Science. My research interests are related to marine phytoplantkon and particularly the harmful algal blooms that impact aquaculture.

I am a biologist interested in sustainable aquaculture and supporting evidence-based policy and innovation. My research focuses on aquaculture diversification, blue governance and societal issues.

Factchecker at FoodUnfolded, science writer, videographer and author of science books for children. PhD in Biochemistry, MSc in Science Communications.

Ph.D. candidate at University of Bergen, focusing on fish stock assessments and fisheries management.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.


FoodUnfolded® is a global digital platform designed to reconnect people with their food and empower them to change our food system for the better.

Endorsers and supporters

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What's included?

EIT Food are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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