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Seafood businesses’ resilience can benefit from circular economy principles


Seafood is expected to become increasingly important in future food systems and healthy diets. This transition will require the seafood sector to adapt business practices to respond to environmental and social challenges while increasing resilience. Here, we develop the circular economy-resilience framework for business models (CERF-BM) and, through exploring the current literature, apply this framework to business models in the seafood sector. We find that the majority of business models incorporate elements of circular economy and resilience in a limited way. The reviewed business models often fail to consider other supply chain actors and, instead, focus on the business itself and its customers. The CERF-BM helps to elucidate this disconnect through assessing business models against company-level actions towards circularity in combination with systems-level resilience mechanisms. To reap the synergies between the circular economy and resilience mechanisms, seafood businesses could extract more value from organic waste and dematerialize their business models.

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Fig. 1: The circular economy-resilience framework for business models.
Fig. 2: Alignment of reviewed articles against the CERF-BM.
Fig. 3: Alignment of reviewed articles against elements of resilience.


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This research is part of the ‘Diverseafood: evaluating the potential of multi-trophic aquaculture to improve nutrition and ecosystem sustainability in the UK’ research project funded by UK Research and Innovation (grant reference BB/S014144/1) and has benefitted from the supportive and collegiate atmosphere of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (Manchester). We are particularly grateful to S. Mander for thorough and insightful comments on a revised version of this paper.

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Authors and Affiliations



M.S. and C.A.F. conceived of, framed and designed the research. C.A.F. conducted the literature search and analysis and produced the figures. All authors jointly wrote the paper: C.A.F. led the writing and M.S. and R.S.C. contributed text and extensive comments on the structure and content of several drafts of the paper. M.S. supervised the research project.

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Correspondence to Maria Sharmina.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Peer review information Nature Food thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary Tables 1–4, Figs. 1–3, Methods, Discussion and references.

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Fletcher, C.A., St Clair, R. & Sharmina, M. Seafood businesses’ resilience can benefit from circular economy principles. Nat Food 2, 228–232 (2021).

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