Using the concept of the fishmeal equivalent (FME), Wijkström and New (1989) estimated that about eight percent of the global fishmeal supply was used by aquaculture in 1984, 1985 and 1986. These authors expected that aquaculture would be using 15-17 percent of the world supply of fishmeal by the year 2000. This proved to be an underestimate, mainly because aquaculture expanded much more rapidly than was anticipated in 1989. For example, it was estimated that the total production of carnivorous fish and shrimp would be about 2.4 million tonnes by the year 2000. In fact, the farmed production of marine shrimp and salmonids alone had exceeded 2.5 million tonnes by 1999 (FAO, 2001a).
Earlier studies on marine resource use in aquafeeds and other relevant literature (New and Csavas, 1995; Pike, 1998; Tacon, 1998; Barlow, 2000; Chamberlain, 2000; I.H. Pike, pers. comm., 2000) have been taken into account in this study. The assumptions utilized and the results obtained in these studies are summarized in Annex 1.