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Monday, 09 August 2021 14:21

Slower growth in global aquaculture

EM4 21 AQUAQuantities produced reached a record level in 2019

This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 4/2021.

According to surveys carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the quantities produced by global aquaculture reached an all-time high of 120 million tonnes (live weight) in the year 2019, with a total sale value (ex farm gate) of 274.6 billion US dollars. Of this, 85.3 million tonnes were accounted for by animals (USD 259.5 billion), 34.7 million tonnes by algae and aquatic plants (USD 14.8 billion) and 26,841 tonnes by ornamental shellfish and pearls (USD 228.4 million).

The quantities produced by global aquaculture have been increasing for decades and have become enormously important for feeding the world’s population. An example of this development is the proportion of the global fish supply made up by aquaculture, which was 47.9 percent in 2019. This means that almost half of all fish consumed glob- ally that year came from a farm. At the turn of the millennium, this proportion was only about a quarter (25.7 percent). The point at which more fish will come from aquaculture than from fisheries is not so far away. In some production areas, the ‘more farmed than caught’ milestone has actually already been reached. In the year 1970, the quantity of algae and water plants produced by aquaculture exceeded the amount from natural harvesting for the first time. In 1986, this milestone was reached for freshwater fish, and in 1994 for molluscs. In 1997, it was the turn of diadromous fish species, which include sturgeon and some salmonid species that regularly migrate between salt and fresh waters during specific life cycles, and in 2014 more crustaceans were farmed than were caught in the wild for the first time.

Published in Aquaculture
FAO2021 bannerFAO has launched an online public consultation in order to collect comments and views on a draft guidance document on seafood traceability. The guidance analyses and documents the interrelation of traceability along the value chain based on country-specific traceability mechanisms that are often essential for verifying and corroborating submitted data. It focuses on Key Data Elements (KDEs) and Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) as salient collection points of traceability systems.
Published in Latest News

EM 2 20 BarangeReducing overall stress boosts resilience to climate change

This article featured in EUROFISH Magazine 2 2020.

Currently Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division and Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter (UK), Dr Manuel Barange is an ecologist and fisheries scientist interested in researching climate change impacts on marine ecosystems, their resources, and their implications for human society. Here he makes an eloquent case for management measures as the best way to limit the impacts of climate change and achieve sustainable fisheries.

Published in Opinions

FAO Policy Brief COVID 19As with other sectors of the global economy, fisheries and aquaculture are also being affected by the spread of COVID-19. Producers, processors, traders, and consumers are both directly and indirectly feeling the impact of the virus, the consequences of which, particularly for populations that depend heavily on seafood for food security and nutrition, can be severe. FAO has therefore released a brief on how COVID-19 is affecting the fisheries and aquaculture sector and suggested measures to support the different players in the supply chain. Production, for instance, may suffer from the imposition of sanitary measures on board that make fishing difficult, crews may not be able to join their vessels due to travel restrictions, and the necessary supplies of bait or ice may not be available. In addition, demand in some countries has fallen as a result of unfounded perceptions about links between COVID-19 and seafood. Aquaculture production is affected by the closure of markets, the shutdown of the HORECA sector, and restrictions on flights and cargo movements. In the processing sector issues with cross border transport, uncertain supply of raw materials, and market restriction are among the challenges companies must face. COVID-19 is also likely to have an impact on fisheries management and policy as stock assessments, fisheries observer programmes, and science and management meetings may all be postponed or cancelled. Measures to support the different elements in the supply chain extend from expanding government purchases of seafood to maintain demand and prevent a slump in prices to extending credit and microfinance facilities to fish farmers to ensuring smooth passage of goods at ports, rail terminals, and at border crossings. The complete brief is available at http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/ca8637en

Published in Latest News

Image credit: FAO/Pier Paolo CitoThe world needs a new vision for fisheries in the 21st century, said Qu Dongyu, FAO Director General in his speech at the opening of the International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability. The projected increase in global population to 10bn by 2050 will call for greater aquatic food production, he said, but without jeopardising the health of oceans and rivers, and while improving the social conditions of those dependent on fisheries, who are often the poorest in society. Although millions depend on fisheries for food and livelihoods the state of the world’s oceans is one of grave concern from the impacts of plastic pollution, climate change, overfishing and habitat degradation. Globally over one in ten people depend on fisheries to make a living and to feed their families, while one in three marine fish stocks is overfished.

Published in Latest News

FAO symposiumTo understand and interpret two distinct and opposing trends in global marine and inland fisheries FAO is organising a symposium on 18-21 November 2019 in Rome. The crucial and growing contribution fisheries make to food, nutrition and livelihood security represents one trend, while the overall decrease in the proportion of marine fish stocks caught within biologically sustainable levels especially in least developed regions, represents the other. Given these developments the symposium aims to identify the challenges to improve the sustainability of fish resources, establish the status of global and regional fisheries sustainability, define what constitutes evidence and discuss how to ensure an evidence basis for decision making, and finally outline what society expects from marine and inland fisheries in the 21st century. The debates and conclusions will contribute to the development of a new vision for the way capture fisheries are perceived and used, showing how the sector can respond to the complex and rapidly changing challenges facing society.

The symposium will be technical in nature is aimed at senior employees at technical organisations, academics from the natural and social sciences, fisheries, conservation and sustainability experts, representatives from private industry, fisheries administrations, NGOs, intergovernmental organisations, and indigenous groups. Attendance to the event is free, but subject to an application process to limit the audience to 500 delegates (the size of the venue), while safeguarding a balanced representation from the groups mentioned above. More information is available at the symposium webpage, http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/sustainable-fisheries-symposium/en/ or from Dr Manuel Barange, FAO Director Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division, and Symposium Convenor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Dr Vera Agostini, FAO Deputy Director Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division, and Chair of the Symposium Local Organizing Committee, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Latest News

Danube Conference2018The FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Romania, EUROFISH, DSTF, and EIFAAC are arranging a conference in Bucharest, Romania on 13-15 November titled Regional Conference on River habitat restoration for inland fisheries in the Danube River basin and adjacent Black Sea areas. The event will hold sessions on valuing inland fisheries resources, conservation and management, regulatory framework, along with shared country experiences from the region. The event will not only attract participants from the involved countries but is also expected to be visited with representatives from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Speakers and programme information is available at danube-conference.eurofish.dk

Published in Latest News

EM5 17 TM Small pelagics Grethe Hillersoey Norwegian Seafood CouncilGlobal landings of small pelagics are expected to grow by seven percent in 2017 compared with 2016. The major reason for this growth is an expected higher catch of Peruvian anchovy. Catches of Atlantic mackerel and Atlantic herring are also expected to increase.

The combined increase for herring and mackerel landings in 2017 is expected to be about 4 percent more than in 2016. This could put some pressure on prices, but since the increase is relatively modest, no dramatic price changes are expected. Instead, exchange rates may play a greater role in price determination.

Published in Trade and Markets