Necessity … Aquaculture, a solution against the odds …

“The balance between option and necessity will soon lean to Aquaculture being the only option to stock our stores.”

Stagnating growth in global food production will lead to future degradation in global standards of living. The United Nations council conservatively projects the world population will reach 9 billion by 2050; for a healthy global population this translates to a food requirement that is approximately 60-80% more than we currently produce. Agricultural industries expand at 1-3% annually, however with climatic change and varying pressure there is deep concern of a serious shortage.Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world, growing at 6.1percent a year, supplying 47% or 63 million tonnes (FAO Report) of the world’s fish consumption (30% of this from China alone), this rises year on year, soon expected to overtake and then dwarf the stagnating caught fish industry. Fish farmers are placed with the responsibility to meet the estimated additional 50 million tonnes per annum required by 2030. While these figures are important, fish production in America, Europe, and Africa (with the exception of countries like Norway) shows far slower growth; this is the area where true growth potential exists.

FAO Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture. Árni Mathiesen emphasised “This is an alarming situation and urgent concerted efforts to build a strong private-public partnership are imperative to maintain the current rate of growth of Aquaculture over the coming years,”

Pictures From Florida, March 2008

Technological advances, risk and forward thinkers will drive the future of Aquaculture; policy must be in line with development to ensure that this can be done in a manner that is efficient and beneficial to social, economic and environmental stake holders. A major deterrent to investing is fear of instability within the market, driven by the fact that public perception of Aquaculture is mixed, with many high quality farms being overcast by press coverage with examples of malpractice. The industry provides 55 million jobs, and contributes substantially to the balance sheets of developed and developing countries. A fact highlighted by Mathiesen “the huge potential of Aquaculture to help reduce poverty, unemployment and socio-economic inequalities through proper planning and development,”

The balance between option and necessity will soon lean to Aquaculture being the only option to stock our stores.

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