In Recent years, the world has been swept up in a staggering wave of seafood production, fueled by our growing population's insatiable appetite for marine delicacies. However, beneath the surface of this aquatic bounty lies a deep-seated crisis demanding our immediate attention.
The statistics from the FAO are jarring – a staggering 17% of the world's animal protein now springs from aquaculture, with over 40% of the global populace savoring fish as a dietary staple. This ever-growing craving for underwater protein is nothing short of a culinary revolution.
But here's where the chilling truth emerges. The burgeoning demand for seafood has given rise to intensification in aquaculture production, an intensification that has, in turn, opened the floodgates to a menacing outbreak of infectious diseases among farmed species. To counteract these diseases, a truly alarming quantity of antibiotics has been heedlessly administered, propelling us into a nightmarish era of microbial resistance.
The latest research paints a grim picture. Aquaculture stands out as one of the most voracious consumers of antibiotics, hurling us headlong into a catastrophic scenario that spells doom for aquatic ecosystems and casts a long, ominous shadow over global public health. These antimicrobial agents, relentlessly released into our waterways, have become an ecological time bomb. Shockingly, it's estimated that over 10,000 tons of antibiotics were consumed in global aquaculture in 2017, with projections now pointing to an eye-popping 33% surge by 2030.
But it gets worse. The staggering truth is that, to produce a mere 1 kg of biomass, the quantity of antibiotics administered in aquaculture dwarfs the amount dispensed in terrestrial animal protein production and even surpasses that administered in human medicine. It's an outrageous overuse of antibiotics, an abuse that cannot be ignored.
Compounding this alarming issue, a staggering 96% of the antibiotics employed in aquaculture belong to the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of "critically important" and "highly important" antimicrobials for human health. This flagrant misuse of these life-saving drugs in animal production is nothing short of a global health emergency.
Amidst this truly terrifying scenario, the need for immediate action has never been more apparent. We must drastically intensify our oversight of antibiotic usage in aquaculture and erect robust defensive barriers within the industry. Simultaneously, we must push the boundaries of innovation to unleash alternative treatments, banishing traditional antibiotics from the center stage of aquaculture.
In this dire context, we at HEDROS stand united as advocates of change. Through groundbreaking research and development, we lead the charge in pioneering innovative solutions founded on the remarkable power of bacteriophages. With these breakthroughs, we strive to dismantle our perilous reliance on antibiotics in aquaculture. Our mission is to be a guiding light, promoting sustainable aquaculture and working tirelessly to protect the irreplaceable aquatic ecosystems that underpin the collective health of humanity.