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Asia-Pacific Accounts For Nearly 90% Of Fish Supply

Aquaculture is the world’s fastest-growing source of animal protein and currently provides nearly half of all fish consumed globally, with the Asia-Pacific region providing 89 percent of the supply.

| November 10, 2011 | Technology

AsianScientist (Nov. 10, 2011) – Aquaculture is the world’s fastest-growing source of animal protein and currently provides nearly half of all fish consumed globally, according to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The report World Aquaculture 2010 found that global production of fish from aquaculture grew more than 60 percent between 2000 and 2008, from 32.4 million tons to 52.5 million tons. It also forecasts that by 2012 more than 50 percent of the world’s food fish consumption will come from aquaculture.

“With stagnating global capture fishery production and an increasing population, aquaculture is perceived as having the greatest potential to produce more fish in the future to meet the growing demand for safe and quality aquatic food,” the report said.

With its growth in volume and value, aquaculture has clearly helped reduce poverty and improve food security in many parts of the world. But aquaculture has not grown evenly around the planet. Marked differences in production levels, species composition and farming systems exist within and between regions, and from one country to another.

The Asia-Pacific region dominates the sector – in 2008 it accounted for 89.1 percent of global production, with China alone contributing 62.3 percent.

Of the 15 leading aquaculture-producing countries, 11 are in the Asia-Pacific region.

A few countries lead the production of some major species, such as China with carps; China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India with shrimps and prawns; and Norway and Chile with salmon.

Although intensive systems are prevalent in North America, Europe, and Latin America, small-scale commercial producers remain the backbone of the sector in the Asia-Pacific region despite major technical developments.

As the demand for aquaculture products continues to increase, there is growing recognition of the need to address consumers’ concerns for quality and safe products and animal health and welfare, the report said. Thus, issues such as food safety, traceability, certification, and ecolabeling are assuming growing importance and considered as high priorities by many governments.

Aside from environmental sustainability, other major challenges faced by aquaculture include climate change and the global economic downturn, the report noted.

The full report can be found at: World Aquaculture 2010 report (PDF, 2.40 MB).

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Source: Food and Agriculture Organization.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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