November 22, 2011
Aquaculture to become major global seafood source by 2012
As aquaculture expands to feed the rising population and make up for declining wild fish supply, more than 50% of the world's seafood stocks will come from fish farms by 2012, projected UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Farmed fish and shellfish increased from 32.4 million tonnes in 2000 to 57. 2 million tonnes in 2010, the report estimates. These numbers mean that aquaculture accounted for 48% of total seafood consumption last year, up from 34% a decade earlier.
While the report does not include an estimate for 2012, it projects that aquaculture products will represent more than 50% of all seafood consumption by then amid a fisheries slump and population growth.
China is the biggest producer of farmed seafood, supplying 32.74 million tonnes, or 62% of the market, in 2008. All of the top six countries were in Asia, with India, Vietnam and Indonesia in second through fourth place. Japan contributed some 730,000 tonnes, ranking 10th.