Fish Production Reaches a Record

Molly Theobald | Dec 03, 2009

Total global fish production, including both wild catch and aquaculture, rose to about 157 million tons in 2007, the most recent year with data, up from 153 million tons in 2006.1 (See Figure 1.) Reaching a record high as the industry continues to grow, nearly half of the fish produced for human consumption came from aquaculture.2 (See Table 1.)

Aquaculture production has consistently grown by nearly 9 percent annually worldwide since 1970, making it the most rapidly growing animal food sector.3 The Asia-Pacific region produces the overwhelming majority of the world’s aquaculture output: 89 percent in terms of quantity and 77 percent in terms of value.4 This is in large part due to China’s long tradition of fish farming and its massive appetite for seafood; this one country accounts for 67 percent of the global production and nearly 50 percent of the market for farmed fish.5 (See Figure 2.)   

In 2007, some 80 percent of the world fish stocks for which information is available were considered fully exploited or overexploited.6 And management of existing fish stocks is a challenging and increasingly important prospect for most countries, particularly those lacking other food resources.7

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