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"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."

- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist


Aquaculture production to grow nearly 40% by 2030

Combined, overall seafood production is expected to grow 18% by 2030, but aquaculture is the main driver, says new report

Based on the assumption of higher demand and technological improvements, total world fish production - wild capture plus aquaculture - is expected to continue to expand and reach 201 million metric tons in 2030, according to a new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

This represents a growth of 18 percent over 2016, or an additional 30 million metric tons, but at a lower annual growth rate of 1 percent than observed in the period between 2003 and 2016, when the growth rate was 2.3 percent.

According to the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018, released in July this year, in 2030 capture fisheries production is expected to reach about 91 million metric tons, slightly higher - by 1 percent - than in 2016.

Factors influencing this limited growth include a 17 percent decrease of capture fisheries in China due to the implementation of new policies, although this will be compensated by increased catches in some fishing areas where stocks of certain species are recovering due to improved management.

In addition, there are expected to be some increase in catches in waters off the few countries where there are underfished resources, where new fishing opportunities exist or where fisheries management measures are less restrictive.

However, in the coming years, the El Nino phenomenon is expected to reduce catches in South America, especially for anchoveta, resulting in an overall decrease of world capture fisheries production of about 2 percent in that period.

Aquaculture in the driver's seat

Aquaculture production is expected to continue it's remarkable rise, and volume is projected to reach 109 million metric tons in 2030, with a growth of 37 percent over 2016, said the FAO.

However, it is estimated that the annual growth rate of aquaculture will slow down from 5.7 percent in the 2003 to 2016 period to 2.1 percent in the 2017 to 2030 period, mainly becaluse of reduced growth in Chinese aquaculture production.

This will, however, partially be compensated by an increase in production in other countries.

Despite the lower growth rate, aquaculture will still continue to be one of the fastest-growing animal-food sectors, said the FAO.

The share of farmed species in global fishery production, for food and non-food uses - which was 47 percent in 2016 - is projected to exceed that of wild species for the first time in 2020 and to grow to 54 percent in 2030.

Additionally, more than 87 percent of the increase in aquaculture production in 2030 will originate from Asian countries.

Asia continues to dominate

Asia will continue to dominate world aquaculture production, with cj share of 89 percent in 2030, said the FAO.

China will remain the world's leading producer, but its share in total production will decrease from 62 percent in 2016 to 59 percent in 2030.

The FAO said aquaculture production is projected to continue to expand on all continents, with variations in the range of species and products across countries and regions.

Major increases, however, are expected in particular in Latin America (+49 percent) and in Africa (+61 percent).

Freshwater species to make up 62% of aquaculture production

Freshwater species, such as carp, catfish - including pangasius - and tilapia, are expected to represent about 62 percent of total world aquaculture production in 2030, as compared with 58 percent in 2016.

Production of higher-value species, such as shrimp, salmon and trout, is also projected to continue to grow.

In addition, the FAO said about 16 percent of capture fisheries yield will be used to produce fishmeal in 2030.

The estimated fishmeal and fish oil production, in product weight, should reach 5.3 million metric tons and 1 million metric tons, respectively.

In 2030, fishmeal production should be 19 percent higher than in 2016, but about 54 percent of the growth will derive from improved use of fish waste, cuttings and trimmings obtained from fish processing.

Fishmeal produced from fish by-products will represent 34 percent of world fishmeal production in 2030, compared to 30 percent in 2016.

Read/download the new SOFIA 2018 report from FAO here


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