Aquafarming Emerges As Leading Global Fish Source: U.N. Food Agency

by | Jun 8, 2024 | Daily News, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Aquafarming Emerges As Leading Global Fish Source: U.N. Food Agency

For the first time, Aquafarming has outpaced traditional captured fisheries. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced this milestone on Friday. This development highlights the potential of aquaculture to satisfy the rising global demand for seafood.

In its latest biennial report on the state of world fisheries, the Rome-based FAO reported that global fisheries and aquaculture production reached a record 223.2 million tonnes in 2022. Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, involves cultivating aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and aquatic plants in controlled environments.

Aquafarming

Record-Breaking Aquaculture Production

According to the FAO, aquaculture production hit an unprecedented 130.9 million tonnes in 2022. Of this, 94.4 million tonnes were aquatic animals, making up 51% of the total aquatic animal production.These numbers demonstrate the potential for aquaculture to feed the growing world population,” said Manuel Barange, FAO assistant director general. “It’s been the fastest-growing food production system in the world for the last five decades,” he added.

However, aquaculture is dominated by just 10 countries. China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, the Philippines, South Korea, Norway, Egypt, and Chile accounted for almost 90% of all aquaculture production. The FAO emphasized the need to develop the industry in other regions, particularly in Africa, which is currently a net fish importer.

Critics argue that aquafarming can harm the environment and introduce diseases and invasive species into the wild. However, the FAO believes these issues can be mitigated with proper regulation and monitoring.

Rising Global Consumption and Sustainability Concerns

The FAO’s report also highlighted that global per capita annual consumption of aquatic animal foods reached 20.7 kg in 2022, up from 9.1 kg in 1961. This figure is expected to rise further in the coming years. Meanwhile, the haul from captured fisheries has remained stable since the late 1980s, totalling 92.3 million tonnes in 2022.

Despite these positive trends, sustainability remains a pressing issue. The latest data showed that 37.7% of fish stocks in the world’s marine fisheries were classified as overfished in 2021. This marks a continuous increase since 1974 when the figure was just 10%. “The issue of sustainability is of great concern to us,” said Barange. He noted that many larger commercial fisheries are well managed, including tuna stocks, which are now approaching 90% sustainability levels. “This is a remarkable improvement over the last decade,” Barange added. He also mentioned that 80% of the top 10 marine species consumed by humans are being sustainably exploited.

The FAO’s findings underscore the importance of balancing aquaculture’s growth with environmental protection and sustainable practices. As Aquafarming continues to expand, it offers a promising solution to meet the growing demand for seafood, provided it is managed responsibly.

Also Read: Brazilian Wetland Wildfires Escalate 980%, May Lead To Extreme Drought

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  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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