February 6, 2014
 

Collaborative report highlights prospects for global fisheries, aquaculture by 2030
 
 

A new joint report by World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) titled "Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture", looks at prospects for fisheries and aquaculture.
 

One of the key findings of the report is aquaculture or fish farming will provide close to two thirds of global food fish consumption by 2030 as catches from wild capture fisheries level off and demand from an emerging global middle class, especially in China, substantially increases. The report highlights the extent of global trade in seafood which tends to flow heavily from developing to developed countries.


According to FAO, at present 38% of all fish produced in the world is exported and in value terms, over two thirds of fishery exports by developing countries are directed to developed countries. The "Fish to 2030" report finds that a major and growing market for fish is coming from China which is projected to account for 38% of global consumption of food fish by 2030. China and many other nations are increasing their investments in aquaculture to help meet this growing demand.


Asia, including South Asia, South-East Asia, China and Japan, is projected to make up 70% of global fish consumption by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, is expected to see a per capita fish consumption decline of 1% per year from 2010 to 2030 but, due to rapid population growth of 2.3% in the same period, the region's total fish consumption will grow by 30% overall.  


The report predicts that 62% of food fish will come from aquaculture by 2030 with the fastest supply growth likely to come from tilapia, carp, and catfish. Global tilapia production is expected to almost double from 4.3 million tonnes to 7.3 million tonnes a year between 2010 and 2030.


"The fast-moving nature of aquaculture is what made this a particularly challenging sector to model - and at the same time, embodies the most exciting aspect of it in terms of future prospects for transformation and technological change," said one of the report's authors Siwa Msangi of IFPRI.


The World Bank's Director of Agriculture and Environmental Services, Juergen Voegele, said the report provides valuable information for developing countries interested in growing their economies through sustainable fish production, though he warns that carefully thought out policies are needed to ensure the resource is sustainably managed.


Fisheries and aquaculture are a vital source of jobs, nutritious food and economic opportunities, especially for small-scale fishing communities. Yet threats from large-scale disease outbreaks in aquaculture and climate change-related impacts could dramatically alter this.  


Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, emphasised that unlocking the potential of aquaculture could have long-lasting and positive benefits.

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