FAO: Aquaculture production to grow 33%


Steven Hedlund

Published on
July 8, 2012

Global seafood production is projected to reach about 172 million metric tons in 2021, which would be up 15 percent from the 2009-11 average, according to a new report from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The increase in global seafood production is expected to come mainly from aquaculture production, which is projected to grow 33 percent to 79 million metric tons by 2021; wild fisheries production is projected to grow only 3 percent between 2012 and 2021.

However, the rate of aquaculture production is forecasted to slow, from an average annual rate of 5.8 percent in the previous decade to 2.4 percent between 2012 and 2021. The decline is attributed mainly to water constraints, limited availability of optimal production locations and the rising costs of fishmeal and fish oil. But aquaculture will remain one of the fastest-growing animal food-producing sectors.

Released on Monday, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012 also revealed that global seafood production for human consumption hit a record 128.3 million metric tons, or an average of 18.4 kilograms per person, in 2010. That’s up from 123.6 million metric tons in 2009, 119.7 million metric tons in 2008 and 117.3 million metric tons in 2007. Asia accounted for two-thirds of total seafood consumption, at 85.4 million metric tons, or 20.7 kilograms per capita.

And farmed fish will soon account for half of total seafood consumption. Aquaculture represented 47 percent of global food fish production in 2010, compared with just 9 percent in 1980, reports the FAO. The growth rate of farmed food fish production from 1980 to 2010 far outpaced that of the world population (1.5 percent), resulting in average annual per-capita consumption of farmed fish rising by almost seven times, from 1.1 kilograms in 1980 to 8.7 kilograms in 2010, at an average annual rate of 7.1 percent. The total farmgate value of food fish production from aquaculture is estimated at USD 119.4 billion in 2010.

Looking ahead, global seafood production for human consumption is estimated to total 130.8 million metric tons in 2011, according to the FAO.

Global seafood production for all purposes, including human consumption, totaled 148.5 million metric tons in 2010, up from 145.3 million metric tons in 2009, reports the FAO. Wild fisheries accounted for 88.6 million metric tons, while aquaculture represented 59.9 million metric tons.

Click here to download a PDF of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012 > 

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