Report: Aquaculture productivity could be raised
By SeafoodSource staff
27 January, 2011
Aquaculture will play a major role in feeding the world’s population sustainably and equitably over the next 40 years when it’s expected to top 9 billion, according to a new report out of the United Kingdom.
Conducted by Foresight, part of the UK’s Government Office for Science, “The Future of Food and Farming” looks at the challenges policymakers and others face in growing the global food system, as the global population increases from 7 billion today to 8 billion by 2030 and more than 9 billion by 2050.
As a result, demand for seafood is expected to increase “substantially,” at least in line with other proteins, particularly in eastern and southern areas of Asia, according to the report. And the majority of the increased demand will need to be met by expanding aquaculture production, which will “significantly” impact the management of aquatic habitats and the supply of feed resources.
However, aquaculture productivity worldwide could be raised 40 percent by applying existing knowledge and technology, found the report. For example, average yields could be increased two-fold in Russia and two- to three-fold in many areas of Africa.
Frozen seafood giant Findus Group welcomed the report. “As an ongoing source of good quality protein, fish has an essential part to play in the healthy diet of the UK consumer,” said Leendert den Hollander, managing director for Young’s Seafood and Findus UK. “Fish farming will in future prove to be an essential component in the world's food supply as rising global population, climate change and environmental degradation highlight the potential fragility of long-term food security. So it’s very important that we get the facts straight about aquaculture, so that everyone can continue to enjoy this healthy food in the knowledge that it can be responsibly farmed and sustainable.”
Published earlier this week, the report involved around 400 experts and stakeholders from about 35 countries worldwide. It’s available to download on Foresight’s website, www.bis.gov.uk/foresight.
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27 January, 2011