Fishes and other Sea Animals Articles from

The world is farming more seafood than it catches. Is that a good thing?

From Frida Garza,
June 2024

The rise of aquaculture underscores the need to transform seafood systems to minimize their impact on the planet. Both aquaculture and fisheries—sometimes referred to as capture fisheries, as they involve the capture of wild seafood—come with significant environmental and climate considerations. What’s more, the two systems often depend on each other, making it difficult to isolate their climate impacts.

Fish farm
An aerial view of a fish farm. Dudits / Getty Images

A new report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, has found that more fish were farmed worldwide in 2022 than harvested from the wild, an apparent first.

Last week, the FAO released its annual report on the state of aquaculture — which refers to the farming of both seafood and aquatic plants — and fisheries around the world. The organization found that global production from both aquaculture and fisheries reached a new high — 223.3 million metric tons of animals and plants — in 2022. Of that, 185.4 million metric tons were aquatic animals, and 37.8 million metric tons were algae. Aquaculture was responsible for 51 percent of aquatic animal production in 2022, or 94.4 metric tons.

The milestone was in many ways an expected one, given the world’s insatiable appetite for seafood. Since 1961, consumption of seafood has grown at twice the annual rate of the global population, according to the FAO. Because production levels from fisheries are not expected to change significantly in the future, meeting the growing global demand for seafood almost certainly necessitates an increase in aquaculture.

Though fishery production levels fluctuate from year to year, “it’s not like there’s new fisheries out there waiting to be discovered,” said Dave Martin, program director for Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships, an international organization that works to reduce the environmental impact of seafood supply chains. “So any growth in consumption of seafood is going to come from aquaculture.”


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

Posted on June 18, 2024
Return to Fishes and Other Sea Animals Articles
Read more at Environment Articles