Despite the apparent growth, fish consumption will be subject to uneven growth patterns in different countries. The most substantial growth will occur in Brazil (+45 per cent in from 10.5 kg in 2011-2013 to 15.3 kg in 2023), IndexBox reports.
Being a large country with a 8,400 km marine coastline, this country is one of the world’s largest fish and seafood consumers. The growth in consumption will be encouraged by significant expansion in domestic aquaculture production and national initiatives to boost seafood consumption.
Brazil is followed by Saudi Arabia with a +37 per cent rise (from 11.7 kg to 16 kg), other Eastern European countries with +29 per cent (from 9.2 kg to 11.9 kg) and China with +23 per cent (from 35 kg to 43 kg).
Apparent fish consumption is forecast to remain stable or to decrease in Japan with -5 per cent (from 52.8 kg to 49.9 kg), Canada with -7 per cent and Africa with -5 per cent .
This decrease will be triggered by population growing more than supply. Therefore, African countries are expected to become more dependent on fish imports (overall increase to 25 per cent ).
It is worth noting that in spite of the fact that the gap is narrowing, there are still disparities in fish consumption between developed and developing countries. The latter consume less fish and seafood than developed ones.
According to OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2014, per capita fish consumption in developed countries is expected to increase from 18.4 kg in 2011-2013 to 20.4 kg in 2023. Whereas, in developed countries, per capita fish consumption is estimated to increase from 22.6 kg to 23.2 kg over the period under review.
From 2014 to 2023, population is expected to continue its growth in urban areas, especially in developing countries. By 2023, more than half (57 per cent ) of the world population will live in urban areas, triggering a decline of rural population. Undoubtedly, urbanization can be regarded as a key factor influencing food consumption patterns, including fish and seafood consumption.
Nowadays, city dwellers tend to purchase processed, convenience and higher value-added products containing higher levels of protein, like fish. However, there are many factors that may have an impact on fish consumption in different countries, such as the availability and cost, cultural factors like traditions, tastes and seasons.
Fish is expected to remain predominantly consumed as food. It is a widely known fact that fish is an invaluable source of protein and a great number of essential fatty acids and micronutrients, being a necessary contribution to healthy diets.