World fishery production from capture fisheries and aquaculture totalled almost 110 million tonnes in 1994, and over 90 million tonnes of this were produced in marine waters. Of the marine production, 84 million tonnes were landed from capture fisheries and 6 million tonnes were produced by mariculture. Separate statistics for aquaculture are at present available only from 1984 when mariculture produced only about 2.4 million tonnes and capture fisheries 77 million tonnes.
Any consideration of future fishery supplies for food security or market purposes must take account of the aquaculture and capture fishery production components separately, although this is becoming increasingly difficult as the distinction becomes blurred with the development of practices such as wild stock enhancement, ranching and culture-based fisheries. Whereas aquaculture production will undoubtedly continue to develop for the foreseeable future, despite increasing limitations by environmental factors and availability of sites, capture fisheries production seems to have almost reached saturation level in terms of the number of species and areas that can be exploited and it is usually agreed that it can only be increased to a small extent by improved fisheries management (FAO 1995c). The potential offered by an increased exploitation of non-conventional species such as krill, meso-pelagic fish, oceanic squids, etc. is theoretically large but the economic and ecological implications raise questions as to its viability.
Because it is at present only possible to disaggregate aquaculture and capture fishery production for recent years, the analyses in this study were based on time series of total capture fishery and aquaculture production data for 1950-1994, hereafter referred to as fishery landings. The analyses reported here therefore include a contribution from aquaculture which has been growing rapidly, accounting for 3% of marine production in 1984 and 6% in 1994. However, the analysis concerning the description of the development phases for major fishery resources is restricted to marine fish for which for which aquaculture is negligible.