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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.
Fish and seafood production in Bulgaria stem primarily from capture fisheries in the Black Sea, and freshwater and marine aquaculture. Freshwater catches, which come mainly from the Danube, are nugatory. Black Sea catches have remained stable over the last years, while production from fish farms, of carps and trout in particular, has grown steadily.
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 6 / 2020.