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The Future Demands Aquaculture

by Ellen Hardy
13 October 2008, at 1:00am

GLOBE - In 2006, the world consumed 110.4 million tonnes of fish, with 51.7 million tonnes of that originating from aquaculture.

Production by traditional capture fisheries has reached a plateau, says Matangi Tonga, so to meet the projected demand for fish of an expanded world population, in 2030 aquaculture will need to produce an additional 28.8 million tonnes - 80.5 million tonnes overall - each year just to maintain per capita fish consumption at current levels.

However FAO cautions in a paper to be presented this week to countries attending a meeting of the UN agency's Committee on Fisheries (COFI), Sub-Committee on Aquaculture in Puerto Varas, Chile (6-10 October) that a series of emerging challenges need to be addressed if aquaculture is to live up to its potential.

"The question remains whether the aquaculture sector can grow fast enough to sustain projected demand for fish while ensuring consumer protection, maintaining environmental integrity, and achieving social responsibility," the report said.

Ellen Hardy