A disquieting report on the world's fish consumption finds that two-thirds of all fish harvested in the world will come from fish farms by 2030.
The report, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank and the International Food Policy Research Institute, found that "markets were moving toward farmed fish faster than previously expected, with aquaculture accounting for 45% of global fish consumption in 2009—and expected to reach 62% of the total by 2030," reports Food and Drink Europe.
"Comparing this study to a similar study we did in 2003, we can see that growth in aquaculture production has been stronger than what we thought," report author Siwa Msangi of IFPRI told Food and Drink Europe.
Fish consumption in China is expected to make up 38 percent of the total global consumption by 2030, and all of Asia combined is expected to account for 70 percent of all fish consumption.
While fish farms can remove pressure from threatened wild fish stocks being overfished, there are concerns over the sustainability and safety of farmed fish operations, particularly in Asia. Reports of fish and shrimp being fed pig and chicken feces pose both human and environmental risks. The U.S. is likely to deregulate the sale of a genetically modified farmed salmon soon. It would be the first GMO farmed fish approved for human consumption. Environmentalists and health advocacy groups fear irreversible damage to ocean
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"We continue to see excessive and irresponsible harvesting in capture fisheries and in aquaculture, disease outbreaks among other things, have heavily impacted production," Juergen Voegele, the World Bank director of agriculture and environmental services told Food and Drink Europe. "If countries can get their resource management right, they will be well placed to benefit from the changing trade environment."
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