Great future for aquaculture forecasts FAO; record output of 66.5m tons in 2012

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Great future for aquaculture forecasts FAO; record output of 66.5m tons in 2012

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Fish farming will likely grow more than expected in the coming decade, offering a chance for improved nutrition for millions of people, especially in Asia and Africa, according to a new report, from FAO.

Increased investment in the aquaculture sector, particularly in productivity-enhancing technologies including in the areas of water use, breeding, hatchery practices and feedstuff innovation, should boost farmed-fish production by as much as 4.14% per year through 2022, notably faster than the 2.54% growth forecast made earlier this year in a joint report by FAO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“The primary reason for increased optimism is that there is ample room for catching up with more productive technologies, especially in Asia, where many fish farmers are small and unable to foot the hefty capital outlays the industry requires to expand output without running into resource constraints,” said Audun Lem, a senior official at FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division and one of the lead authors of the 120-page report.

In terms of direct human consumption, farmed fish in 2014 surpassed captured fish, which reached a plateau in the mid-1980s and is expected to grow only 5% over the next decade, thanks largely to reduced waste as well as better gear reducing unwanted by-catch and improved fisheries management.

Global per capita fish consumption increased from 9.9 kilograms in 1970 to 19.1 kilograms in 2012, although rates vary substantially by and within regions. Africa, Latin America and the Near East have consumption levels of around half the global rate, while Asia, Europe and North America all have rates of about 21 kilograms per capita.

Fish prices in 2022 will be 27% higher than today in FAO’s baseline scenario, but up to 20% lower if aquaculture expands more quickly.

See more at http://en.mercopress.com/2014/11/19/great-future-for-aquaculture-forecasts-fao-record-output-of-66.5m-tons-in-2012

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