20 February 2003, Rome --
Aquaculture is growing more rapidly than all other animal food
producing sectors; its contribution to global supplies of fish,
crustaceans and molluscs increased from 3.9 per cent of total
production by weight in 1970 to 27.3 percent in 2000, according
to FAO's State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2002
report (SOFIA). The contribution from aquaculture increased
further to 29 percent in 2001.
be presented at the 25th session of FAO's Committee on
Fisheries, COFI (Rome, 24-28 February), states that global fish
production remains pushed by aquaculture. COFI is the only
global technical forum for debating international fisheries
including aquatic plants, reached 45.7 million tonnes by weight
and $56.5 billion by value in 2000," according to
SOFIA. "China remains by far the largest producer with
71 percent of the total volume and 49.8 percent of the total
value of aquaculture production." Global aquaculture
production for 2001 showed a further increase to 48.2 million
tonnes with a value of $60.9 billion.
Worldwide, aquaculture has increased at an average
compounded rate of 9.2 percent per year since 1970, compared
with only 1.4 percent for capture fisheries and 2.8 percent for
terrestrial farmed meat production systems, according to the
Capture fisheries, including marine
and inland water production, decreased in 2001 compared to 2000
from 94.8 to about 92 million tonnes; however, all major
fluctuations in capture production in recent years are due to
variations in catches of Peruvian achoveta which are
environmentally-driven (i.e. El Niņo), as global capture
production -- with the exclusion of anchoveta catches -- has
been fairly stable since 1995.
the global situation of the main marine fish stocks, the report
warns that nearly half of world marine stocks offer no
reasonable expectations for further expansion. "About
47 percent of the main stocks or species groups are fully
exploited and are therefore producing catches that have reached,
or are very close to, their maximum sustainable
limits," the report says.
report also warns against overfishing on the high seas. It is
difficult to assess the situation on the high seas, because
reports to FAO of marine catches make no distinction between
those taken within the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and those
taken on the high seas. However, the report reveals that catches
of oceanic species, particularly the oceanic tunas, almost
tripled from 3 million tonnes in 1976 to 8.5 million tonnes in
Marked differences in
More than 1 billion
people worldwide rely on fish as an important source of animal
proteins. However, marked regional differences in consumption
are reported. Of the worldwide 95.5 million tonnes of food fish
available for consumption in 1999, only 6.2 million tonnes (6.5
percent) were consumed in Africa.
also indicates that "about 56 percent of the
world's population derives at least 20 percent of its
animal protein intake from fish, and some small island States
depend on fish almost exclusively".
The report informs on ongoing attempts to predict fish
production and consumption. According to projections, by
2015-2030 world capture production will stagnate, while world
aquaculture production will continue to increase and will be
dominated by freshwater species and molluscs .
According to economic modelling, global annual
consumption of fish per person will increase over time, from
about 16 kg today to between 19 and 21 kg in 2030.
But the regional picture will be very diverse. Fish
consumption per person is projected to increase by more than 84
percent in China, by almost 60 percent in South Asia and by
almost 50 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. In other
regions, it may stagnate or decline. In Africa, where the
consumption already is low, it may go down by a further 3
Commenting on consumption
patterns, the report indicates that in many parts of the world
changes reflect increased health consciousness and a stronger
demand for ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat products. The emergence
and growth of supermarkets' sharesin the distribution of
seafood will continue to facilitate a greater penetration of
seafood products in areas that are remote from the sea.
According to FAO' report, total world trade of
fish and fishery products increased to an export value of $55.2
billion in 2000.
Thailand continued to be
the main exporting country, with $4.4 billion. China experienced
a sharp increase in its export performance to reach $3.7 billion
in 2000 and is now the second largest exporter.
Norway lost its second rank due to lower salmon prices
and euro fluctuations - the currency of the main trading area
for Norwegian fish.
Fish imports reached a
record of $60 billion in 2000. Developed countries accounted for
more than 80 percent of the value of the total fishery product
imports. Japan was again, the largest importer of fishery
products, accounting for some 26 percent of the world total.
The State of World Fisheries and
Aquaculture is available from FAO sales agents world-wide or
directly from: FAO Sales and Marketing Group, Publishing
Management Service, Information Division
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100, Rome, Italy
E-mail for orders and queries:
Fax: (+39) 06
Information Officer, FAO