Evolution – Prospects
Although water covers 72% of the earth’s surface, less than 10% of the food consumed by people originates in the sea, the rivers and the lakes.
The mass production of aquatic organisms for human consumption started in the second half of the 20th century.
Its development was rapid and exceeded the most optimistic forecasts.
In 2005 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) forecasted that in 2025 aquaculture would meet over 50% of world demand for seafood.
The target of 50% was already met by 2009 according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States (PNAS).
Today over 50 million metric tons of food are produced in the water covering 50% of total demand for fish, shellfish, crustaceans, etc.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of animal production for human consumption. The global per capita output increased from 0.7 kg in 1970 to 7.8 kg in 2006, posting an annual growth of 6.9%.
Marine fish farming accounts for just 3% of global aquaculture production in volume, but it contributes 8% of its total value.
The largest sector of marine fish farming is the long established culture of Atlantic salmon, while bass and bream culture is the second largest sector globally.
Despite the rapid growth of farmed bass and bream and their penetration into the markets, bass and bream consumption accounts for less than 3% of the total seafood consumption in the European Union.
In 2008, the US Department of Agriculture forecasted that: “Growth will mainly come from the Mediterranean countries (sea bream and sea bass)”. USDA GAIN Report NL 8009