As the world population grows, so do all efforts to feed that population. An important resource in this effort are our inland waterways, oceans and seas. Aquaculture—the cultivation of aquatic plants and animals also referred to as aquafarming—is the fastest growing sector within this industry. Fishing in the wild is, in many places, becoming more difficult because of either regulations to prevent overfishing or because overfishing itself has already caused a serious decline in the fish population, as happened to dramatic effect off the eastern coast of Canada in the early 1990s.
Tomorrow we’ll look at the aquaculture portion of this market.
The market sizes presented here do no include aquatic plants but do cover all caught and raised fish of any kind from marine and inland waterway sources.
Geographic reference: World
Year: 1998 and 2008
Market size: 117.2 and 142.3 Million tons respectively. Approximately 80% of both year’s totals were for human consumption—93.3 and 115.1 Million tons respectively.
Source: “Table — 1 World Fisheries and Aquaculture Production and Utilization,” page 3, The State of Fisheries & Aquaculture 2010, available online here. The data for 1998 are from the 2000 edition of this same report, same table number, page 6, and available online here.
Original Source: United Nations, Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.