It is estimated that in 2016, overall, women accounted for nearly 14 percent of all
people directly engaged in the fisheries and aquaculture primary sector,
as compared with an average of 15.2 percent across the reporting period 2009–2016. The could
be partially ascribed to decreased sex-disaggregated reporting.
The fishing fleet
The total number of fishing vessels in the world in 2016 was estimated to be about 4.6
unchanged from 2014. The fleet in Asia was the largest, consisting of 3.5 million vessels,
accounting for 75 percent of the global fleet.
In Africa and North America the estimated number of vessels declined from 2014 by just over
30 000 and by nearly 5 000, respectively.
For Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Oceania the numbers all increased, largely as
a result of improvements in estimation procedures.
Globally, the number of engine-powered vessels was estimated to be 2.8 million in
remaining steady from 2014. Motorized vessels represented 61 percent of all fishing vessels
in 2016, down from 64 percent in 2014,
as the number of non-motorized vessels increased, probably because of improved estimations.
In 2016, about 86 percent of the motorized fishing vessels in the world were in the
length overall (LOA) class of less than 12 m,
the vast majority of which were undecked, and those small vessels dominated in all regions.
On the contrary, the largest vessels,
classified as those with LOA greater than 24 m made up about 2 percent of the total fleet.
Assessing climate change impacts for fisheries and aquaculture
Primary production of the global ocean is expected to decline by 6 percent by 2100
and by 11 percent in tropical zones. Diverse models predict that by 2050, the total
global fish catch potential may vary by less than 10 percent depending on the
trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, but with very significant geographical
variability. While impacts will be predominately negative in many
fisheries-dependent tropical regions, opportunities will also arise in temperate
Recent projections also reveal decreases in both marine and terrestrial production
in almost 85 percent of coastal countries analysed, varying widely in their national
capacity to adapt (Blanchard et al., 2017). These findings underline the importance
of responding to climate change in a coordinated manner across all food systems, to
ensure opportunities are maximized and negative impacts reduced, and to secure food
and livelihood provision.
Impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture
Synthesis of current knowledge, adaptation and mitigation
Fish utilization and processing
In 2016, of the 171 million tonnes of total fish production, about 88 percent or over 151
million tonnes were utilized for direct human consumption.
This share has increased significantly in recent decades, as it was 67 percent in the 1960s.
In 2016, the greatest part of the 12 percent used for non-food purposes (about 20 million
tonnes) was reduced to fishmeal and fish oil
(74 percent or 15 million tonnes), while the rest (5 million tonnes) was largely
utilized as material for direct feeding in aquaculture
and raising of livestock and fur animals, in culture (e.g. fry, fingerlings or small adults
for ongrowing), as bait, in pharmaceutical uses and for ornamental purposes.
Live, fresh or chilled is often the most preferred and highly priced form of fish and
represents the largest share of fish for direct human consumption, 45 percent in
followed by frozen (31 percent), prepared and preserved (12 percent) and cured (dried,
salted, in brine, fermented smoked) (12 percent).
Freezing represents the main method of processing fish for human consumption; it accounted
for 56 percent of total processed fish for
human consumption and 27 percent of total fish production in 2016.
Major improvements in processing as well as in refrigeration, ice-making and transportation
have allowed increasing commercialization
and distribution of fish in a greater variety of product forms in the past few decades.
However, developing countries still mainly
use fish in live or fresh form (53 percent of the fish destined for human consumption in
2016), soon after landing or harvesting
from aquaculture. Loss or wastage between landing and consumption decreased, but still
accounts for an estimated 27 percent of landed fish.