FAO highlights fish production

FAO highlights fish production

FAO releases new edition of "State of World Fisheries & Aquaculture" report.

MORE people than ever before rely on fisheries and aquaculture as a source of food and income, but harmful practices and poor management threaten the sector's sustainability, according to a new report published by the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO).

According to the latest edition of FAO's "The State of World Fisheries & Aquaculture" report, global fishery and aquaculture production totaled 158 million metric tons in 2012 — about 10 mmt more than in 2010 (Table).

The rapid expansion of aquaculture, including the activities of small-scale farmers, is driving this growth in production, FAO said.

Fish farming holds tremendous promise in responding to surging demand for food that is taking place due to global population growth, the report says.

At the same time, the planet's oceans — if sustainably managed — have an important role to play in providing jobs and feeding the world, according to the FAO report.

"The health of our planet as well as our own health and future food security all hinge on how we treat the blue world," FAO director-general Jose Graziano da Silva said. "We need to ensure that environmental well-being is compatible with human well-being in order to make long-term sustainable prosperity a reality for all. For this reason, FAO is committed to promoting 'Blue Growth,' which is based on the sustainable and responsible management of our aquatic resources."

The renewed focus on the so-called "blue world" comes as the share of fishery production used for human food has increased from about 70% in the 1980s to a record high of more than 85% (136 mmt) in 2012.

At the same time, per capita fish consumption has soared from 10 kg in the 1960s to more than 19 kg in 2012.

The FAO report also says fish now accounts for almost 17% of the global population's intake of protein; in some coastal and island countries, it can top 70%.

 

Aquaculture boom

Global marine capture fishery production was stable at about 80 mmt in 2012, the report indicates.

Currently, fewer than 30% of the wild fish stocks regularly monitored by FAO are overfished — a reversal of the trend observed during the past few years and a positive step in the right direction.

Just more than 70% are being fished within biologically sustainable levels, FAO said. Of these, fully fished stocks — meaning those at or very close to their maximum sustainable production — account for more than 60% and underfished stocks about 10%.

Global aquaculture production marked a record high of more than 90 mmt in 2012, including almost 24 mmt of aquatic plants. China accounted for more than 60% of the total share, FAO reported.

Aquaculture's expansion helps improve the diets of many people, especially in poor rural areas where there is often a scarcity of essential nutrients in food.

However, the report warns that, in order to continue to grow sustainably, aquaculture needs to become less dependent on wild fish for feeds and introduce greater diversity in farmed culture species and practices.

For example, small-sized species can be an excellent source of essential minerals when consumed whole. However, consumer preferences and other factors have led to a switch toward larger farmed species whose bones and heads are often discarded, FAO said.

 

Market share

Fish remains among the most traded food commodities worldwide; the market was worth almost $130 billion in 2012 — a figure that likely will continue to increase, FAO said.

An important trend is developing countries boosting their share in the fishery trade, which was at 54% of total fishery exports by value and more than 60% by quantity (liveweight) in 2012.

The role of fish is set to feature prominently at the Second International Conference on Nutrition, jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization, on Nov. 19-21 in Rome, Italy.

 

World fisheries and aquaculture production and utilization

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Production

-Million metric tons-

Capture

Inland

10.1

10.3

10.5

11.3

11.1

11.6

Marine

80.7

79.9

79.6

77.8

82.6

79.7

Total capture

90.8

90.1

90.1

89.1

93.7

91.3

Aquaculture

Inland

29.9

32.4

34.3

36.8

38.7

41.9

Marine

20.0

20.5

21.4

22.3

23.3

24.7

Total aquaculture

49.9

52.9

55.7

59.0

62.0

66.6

Total world fisheries

140.7

143.1

145.8

148.1

155.7

158.0

Utilization*

Human consumption

117.3

120.9

123.7

128.2

131.2

136.2

Non-food uses

23.4

22.2

22.1

19.9

24.5

21.7

Population (billions)

6.7

6.8

6.8

6.9

7.0

7.1

Per capita food fish supply (kg)

17.6

17.9

18.1

18.5

18.7

19.2

*2012 data in this section are provisional estimates.

Note: Excluding aquatic plants. Totals may not match due to rounding.

Source: U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization.

 

Volume:86 Issue:21

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish