Displaying items by tag: global
Quantities produced reached a record level in 2019
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.
Even though fishing activities have been monitored for selected fleets using electronic vessel monitoring systems, logbooks, and onboard observers, these efforts only provide very limited evidence of a region’s fishing patterns. A new study published by Science Magazine has made use of global satellite-based observations along with artificial intelligence to train and analyse the 22 billion messages publicly broadcast from marine vessels’ automatic identification system (AIS) from 2012 to 2016. The particularity of movements relating to fishing have led to the identification of more than 70,000 fishing vessels ranging from 6 to 146 m in length, with a 95% accuracy. The movements of these commercial fishing vessels have been tracked hourly and reveal a global ‘heat map’ that covers more than 55% of the ocean’s surface or over four times the area covered by agriculture.
Although the data set includes only a limited proportion of the world’s estimated 2.9 million motorized fishing vessels, it encompasses most of the larger vessels exceeding 24m in length and is estimated to account for between 50 to 70% of the total high seas fishing.
Over the course of 2016, the data set captured 40 million hours of fishing activity by these vessels covering a combined distance of more than 460 million km, the equivalent of traveling to the moon and back 600 times, and consuming 19 billion kWh of energy.
26-28 April 2022
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