World Bank: Opportunity ripe for aquaculture


Fiona Robinson, SeaFood Business associate publisher and editor

Published on
November 6, 2011

Editor’s note: SeaFood Business Associate Publisher and Editor Fiona Robinson is in Santiago, Chile, reporting from this week’s 2011 Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference. 

Global wild and farmed seafood production will reach 180 million metric tons by 2030 and will be dominated by aquaculture production, according to a new study from the World Bank. Titled “Fish 2030,” the study was unveiled at the 2011 Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference held this week in Santiago, Chile.

Jim Anderson, a fisheries economist with the World Bank and a professor at the University of Rhode Island, discussed the World Bank study during Monday’s conference at the Grand Hyatt Santiago. Anderson was careful to note that the numbers are still preliminary and further analysis is being conducted.

More than 20 percent of the production increase will come from Southeast Asia, China, South Asia, Latin America and North America (including Mexico). More than 50 percent of that increase will come from freshwater fish farming of tilapia, pangasius, Atlantic salmon and shrimp.

Consumption is projected to increase by more than 20 percent by 2030 in 

China, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America and Africa. Consumption will increase less than 20 percent in Europe, North America and “other” East Asia (Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands).

Aquaculture will account for 50 percent of the total world production by 2030, and 60 percent of aquaculture production will be fish for human consumption, said Anderson. 

Other trends noted by Anderson as part of the analysis include: Fewer species will increasingly dominate the bulk of the market such as salmon, shrimp, catfish and tilapia; disease will continue to be a problem for aquaculture for the foreseeable future; improved distribution and logistics will increase globalization; governance reform in fisheries will reorient the sector on market needs; capture fisheries will become more profitable but will not supply substantially more fish; competition in the aquaculture sector will lower costs; and higher fishmeal and fish oil prices will drive change and shift species production. 

The World Bank has invested more than USD 600 million worldwide in fisheries-related projects. The Fish 2030 project was implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute and builds on a similar research project conducted in 2003.

Organized by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the GOAL conference runs through Wednesday.

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