Global Salmon Fish Market

Lately, there has been a noticeable surge in the global interest towards leveraging the biological resources of the World Ocean, driven by the mounting deficit of protein-rich food for the world’s inhabitants.

According Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)Source: OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook 2021–2030., 80% of the planet’s biodiversitySource is concentrated in the oceans, the Earth’s largest ecosystem. In 2021, out of the total 168.6 million tonnes of harvested and produced hydrobionts, 147.5 million tonnes, or 87.5%, were used as foodSource. The remaining portion is processed into fish meal, nutritional additives, fish oil, and used as feed for livestock or in the pharmaceutical industry. The global fish consumption is growing at a faster pace than the demand for beef, pork and poultry. Fish alone provides approximately 1/6 of the animal protein in the global population’s diet and accounts for 6.7% of the total protein consumed.

Intensively, yet rationally, harnessing the biological resources and bioproductive capabilities of the World Ocean can greatly enhance the dietary habits of the global population Nevertheless, this scenario is unfolding amidst the emergence of tensions and diminishing productivity in the global fishing industry, stemming from the gradual depletion of aquatic bio-resources. Analysis of commercial fish stocks indicates that currently 30% of them are at a biologically unsustainable level and are subject to overfishing. The existing reserves of wild fish are incapable of satisfying the growing demand. It is imperative to identify solutions that can reverse the trend of overfishing and restore wild stocks, ensuring no shortage in the demand for seafood.

Based on global experience, the optimal and expeditious solution to the fisheries problem lies in the expansion of aquaculture.

As the strain on the stocks of certain traditional fishing resources became particularly noticeable after the first two post-war decades, many countries embarked on the development and improvement of marine aquaculture – the establishment of “underwater farms and gardens” for cultivating seaweed, shellfish, crustaceans and fish. At present, aquaculture is predominant in nearly all categories of fish products.

At present, approximately 56 million people are directly engaged in fishing and aquaculture. Moreover, a larger number of individuals are involved in associated activities such as loading, unloading, transportation, processing and marketing of fishery products. Fishing and fish farming combined provide livelihoods for 660 million to 880 million people, accounting for up to 10% of the global population.

In 2021, the aquaculture sector represented 46% of the total volume of fishery products and 52% of fish intended for human consumption. China retained its position as one of the largest fish producers, contributing 35% of the world’s fish production in 2021. As for other regions, a significant share of the production in 2021 was generated in Asia (34%), followed by North and South America (14%), Europe (10%), Africa (7%), and Oceania (1%)Source.

According to FAO projections, global fish production will reach 203 million tonnes per year by 2031. Aquaculture is expected to account for most of the growth in fish production. The share of farmed fish in total production will grow from 50% in 2023 to 53% in 2031. Per capita fish consumption will also continue to rise. By 2031, 59% of fish consumed will be of aquaculture origin, up from 53% in 2018–2020Source, OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook 2022–2031.

Through the responsible intensification of aquaculture, humankind can address the growing protein and fish requirements while alleviating the strain on wild fish populations, facilitating their recovery.

Global fish productionSource: OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook 2022–
Global per capita consumption of fish and seafoodSource: OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook 2022–