November 24, 2011
Global aquaculture output to rise over 50% in next 20 years
The global aquaculture sector foresees production to climb beyond 50% to meet global demand in the next two decades, expressed global aquaculture experts.
Presenting a paper at the eighth symposium on "Diseases in Asian aquaculture" on Monday (Nov 21), Dr Rohana P. Subasinghe, Senior Aquaculture Officer, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Rome, said that aquaculture remains a growing and vibrant food production sector.
In 2008, this sector contributed 52.5million tonnes of food products, accounting for 45.7% of the world's fish production for human consumption.
"Considering the growing world population and the need for more food, and accepting the fact that the production from capture fisheries will not be increased significantly, at least to maintain the global per capita fish consumption at the current level, we will have to produce additional 30million tonnes of aquatic animal products by 2030," he said.
Terming it as a significant challenge, he said it will affect global food security if not achieved.
Disease control and health management in aquaculture are the main constraints in meeting the global demand for food fish in the future, he said.
Recent FAO and World Bank estimates indicate that aquaculture sector suffers losses over US$6.5 billion a year due to diseases, Dr Subasinghe said.
Dr Lahsen Ababouch of FAO said that the volume of internationally traded aquaculture products is rapidly increasing globally and there is a risk of increasing health hazards to consumers.
In such a situation, the role of fish farmer in managing health should change from merely reducing mortalities and improving production at farm level to being an indispensable part of chain for the production and delivery of safe and high quality products to the consumers, he added.