State of world aquaculture
Cambodian woman selling fish
Regional growth of aquaculture
Aquaculture has the potential to make a significant contribution to this increasing demand for aquatic food in most regions of the world; however, in order to achieve this, the sector (and aqua-farmers) will face great challenges.
New Zealand kingfish
Courtesy of NIWA
Aquaculture is making an important contribution to global production and a number of key development trends are taking place. It is apparent that the aquaculture sector continues to intensify and diversify, to use new species and modifying its systems and practices. Aquaculture is doing this with the growing awareness that it must be done through the responsible use of the resources upon which it depends and to society in general.
Markets, trade and consumption preferences, strongly influence the growth of the sector, with clear demands for production of safe and quality products. As a consequence, increasing emphasis is placed on enhanced enforcement of regulation and better governance of the sector. It is increasingly realized that this cannot be achieved without the participation of the producers in decision making and regulation process, which has led to efforts to empower farmers and their associations and move towards increasing self-regulation. These factors are all contributing towards improving management of the sector, typically through promoting “better management” practices of producers.
Aquatic plant production by aquaculture in 2006 was 15.1 million tonnes. The culture of aquatic plants has increased consistently, with an average annual growth rate of 8 percent since 1970. In 2006, it contributed 93 percent of the world’s total supply of aquatic plants, or 15.1 million tonnes (US$7.2 billion), some 72 percent of which was produced by China. However, growth rates for aquaculture production are slowing, partly owing to public concerns about aquaculture practices and fish quality. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) remain a controversial issue. In response to these concerns, integrated multitrophic aquaculture (which promotes economic and environmental sustainability) and organic aquaculture are on the rise.