Aquaculture will provide 60% of all fish production by 2020, according to new research conducted for Worldwatch’sVital Signs Online service.
The industry has been growing steadily for the past 25 years, and it looks like it needs to continue growing to accommodate our growing population and taste for seafood. Human fish consumption has increased 14.4% over the last five years, with consumption of farmed fish growing tenfold since 1970.
According to the Worldwatch report, aquaculture will need to provide an additional 23 million tonnes of farmed fish by 2020 to maintain current levels of fish consumption.
Both the increased demand for fish for consumption and the oceans’ overexploited fisheries will drive growth in aquaculture.
But, the report warns, “Continually increasing fish production, from both aquaculture and fisheries, raises many environmental concerns … policymakers, fishers and consumers need to find alternative sources for fish feed, combat illegal fishing, encourage more sustainable practices in aquaculture, acknowledge the potential effects of climate change on oceans and think critically about what and how much fish to consume.”
The report, “Aquaculture tries to fill world’s insatiable appetite for seafood”, can be viewed online at the website of the Worldwatch Institute