In 2014, overall fish production is estimated to have grown by only 1 per cent to 164.3 million tonnes, boosted by a 5 per cent expansion of aquaculture to 74.3 million tonnes, which compensated for a 2 per cent contraction in wild fish output to 90.0 million tonnes.
2014 was the first year in which human consumption of aquaculture products exceeded that of products from wild fisheries.
Supply in 2015 is likely to see a small rebound in wild catches from the 2014 El Niño-related shortfall, to 90.6 million tonnes, and a further 5 percent growth in aquaculture production to 78 million tonnes.
As a result, fish production is forecast to reach 168.6 million tonnes in 2015, up 2.6 per cent from the previous year.
Strong demand from the US and EU have underpinned international fish trade through 2014 and the start of 2015.
Consumer demand for fish remains brisk, with more people worldwide appreciating the health benefits of regular fish consumption. Direct human consumption, which accounts for more than 85 per cent of all uses, is now projected to grow by 2 per cent.
Fish deliveries to emerging markets also were strong, despite some weakness in countries such as Brazil and the Russian Federation, which faced economic slowdowns and sharp currency devaluations. However, Japan’s buying interest has been tepid with seafood consumption now stagnating.
Fish international prices remained at relatively high levels in the course of 2014, although subject to fluctuations depending on individual species.
As a result of the firm prices and sustained volume growth, the value of fish trade is estimated to have reached a record US$143.9 billion in 2014. However, the value of trade is forecast to grow only modestly to $144.5 billion in 2015, on anticipation of a stalling volume of trade and steady world prices.
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