SWEDISH GÅRDSFISK AND COLOMBIAN RESEARCHER SARA GUTIERREZ PLATA IS THE 2022 RECIPIENTS OF WIN WIN AWARD AND WIN WIN YOUTH AWARD

26 aug. 2022

SWEDISH GÅRDSFISK AND COLOMBIAN RESEARCHER SARA GUTIERREZ PLATA IS THE 2022 RECIPIENTS OF WIN WIN AWARD AND WIN WIN YOUTH AWARD

The 2022 winners of the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award and the WIN WIN Youth Award are now offical. The prestigious awards are given to Swedish fish farm Gårdsfisk and to researcher Sara Gutierrez Plata of the Fisheries Institute in Mexico respectively. 

The 2022 winners of the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award and the WIN WIN Youth Award are now offical. The prestigious awards are given to Swedish fish farm Gårdsfisk and to researcher Sara Gutierrez Plata of the Fisheries Institute in Mexico respectively. The prize sum totaling over SEK 1 million will be presented at the WIN WIN Award gala in Gothenburg, Sweden on October 21st.

This year, the world's leading sustainability award, the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award, recognizes individuals and organizations working for sustainable aquaculture – a pivotal part in solving the problem of global nutrition in the future. The winners of this year's WIN WIN Award and WIN WIN Youth Award, with a total prize sum of over SEK 1,000,000 are Swedish fish farming company Gårdsfisk and aquaculture researcher Sara Gutierrez Plata from Colombia respectively.


Global food production currently accounts for about 25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. It is the main cause of loss of biodiversity, deforestation and endangered fish stocks. The UN predicts that global food production needs to increase by 70 percent by 2050. In addition, rising incomes and changing eating habits will lead to greater demand for nutritious food. Aquaculture, i.e. the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants such as fish, mussels, crustaceans and algae, is, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations essential to meet the nutritional needs of the world's rapidly growing population. Aquaculture is already growing rapidly and an estimated three billion people get at least 20 percent of their necessary nutrients from seafood today, which generally has great both health- and environmental benefits.


"On the journey toward giving everyone access to nutritious food within the planet's boundaries, we westerners need to change our eating habits. For example, we must find alternatives to the rapidly growing salmon industry that today uses open crates in the sea. Gårdsfisk shows a tangible opportunity for change by farming fish in new ways, with low environmental impact in land-based circular systems," says Emma Dalväg, jury chair of the WIN WIN Award.


"But aquaculture is also about repairing and mitigating the harmful effects that human behavior has on nature," says Ahmed Al-Qassam, jury chair of the WIN WIN Youth Award. "The traditional view on sustainable aquaculture focuses solely on humanity's consumption of cultivated aquatic species and on dampening its consequences. Through her work, Sara Gutierrez Plata shows that the environmental aspects are equally pivotal."

From the jury’s motivation: WIN WIN Award/ Gårdsfisk

Swedish enterprise Gårdsfisk conducts integrated aquaculture by farming fish in closed systems on land with the vision of producing the world's most sustainable fish. Gårdsfisk works with the value chain in its entirety, from breeding, farming and processing fish into attractive consumer products. By breeding tropical omnivorous fish that can utilise more plant-based ingredients in their feed, fast-growing animals can be bred with low environmental impacts. The fish farmed by Gårdsfisk are robust and are used to living together in close proximity.

Through Gårdsfisk’s constant work to optimize their value chain, the company excels in three areas above all: implementation of excess nutrients from fish droppings into agriculture, production of sustainable feeds, and improvement of fish welfare. The breeding of resource efficient species in recirculating systems is an important step toward a more sustainable food system. Gårdsfisk’s persistent efforts to introduce new products to the market pave the way for the industry at large.


The WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award 2022 is awarded to Gårdsfisk, who tangibly and concretely lead the way forward.

From the jury’s motivation: WIN WIN Youth Award/ Sara Gutierrez Plata

The Colombian researcher Sara Gutierrez Plata is deeply engaged in restoring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, damaged by climate-change induced high water temperatures as well as acidity and overfishing. Coral reefs are vital for coastal protection and for aquatic biodiversity. In a project supported by the “Healthy Reefs for Healthy People”, Sara Gutierrez Plata use sustainable aquaculture as she developed methods for small-scale, low intensity restocking of the Caribbean King Crab. Having managed to farm the crab, it can now be used to graze detrimental algae covering damaged reefs. When well established, the Caribbean King Crab may also generate substantial income to local fishermen. In addition, Sara and her team aid coral reef recovery by implanting healthy segments of corals into damaged areas.


The WIN WIN Youth Award 2022 is awarded to Sara Gutierrez Plata for highlighting how aquaculture must also be regarded – as a way to repair and soften the detrimental effects human behaviour has on nature.