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THE FUTURE OF 

AQUACULTURE 

LOOKS VERY GOOD

Science-based aquaculture has driven the growth of the industry globally.

 

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What is Aquaculture?

Aquaculture is the farming of animals and plants in aquatic ecosystems.   FAO, the food and agricultural organization of the United Nations, estimates that more than 600 species are being farmed today with many more in various stages of development.   Ever since the first humans ventured onto bodies of water, lakes, oceans, rivers, etc. humanity has been capturing seafood for consumption.    As Earths population increases, currently at almost 8 billion souls with little signs of the rate of increase slowing down, the demand for health benefits from seafood has placed unprecedented pressures on the wild.   While there are efforts made to regulate this to avoid the inevitable consequences of overfishing, these are problematic.    Aquaculture  has and will continue to take pressure off of the fishery while increasing the consumption of seafood.

To learn more, FAO publishes an excellent overview and summary of what is going on (FAO. 2020. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020. Sustainability in action. Rome.   https://doi.org/10.4060/ca9229en). 

The chart is from this reference.  There are several very clear trends.   Perhaps the most striking is the flattening of the curve for the capture fisheries.   Total production from all aquaculture sources is very close to and, very likely in 2021, exceeds the fishery.   The last 30 years have seen a dramatic increase in the total aquaculture production, surpassing 100 million MTs in 2015.    Production grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s, topping out  at around a 10% increase per annum.    This rate of increase had slowed to between 4 and 6% in the early 2000s.   Growth has not been uniform, with some countries dramatically out producing others.  

 

The largest contribution is from finfish being grown inland (> 40 million MTs) followed closely by seaweed production at around 35 million MTs.   All others, including both fresh and seawater reared crustaceans, mollusks, etc., comprise the rest.   In 2018, the capture fishery was at an all-time high of 95 million MTs.   There are strong indications that we are overfishing the oceans.    Human induced climate change will have a broad reaching impact on both the capture fisheries and aquaculture.

Carp (cyprinids) are by far the most widely farmed species making up almost half of the global total.  These are for local consumption and are low cost.   Some 45% of the total farmed fish are carp with most not being fed prepared feeds.   Tilapia, for local consumption as well as for export  is about 10.2% of the total.   Atlantic salmon are 4.5%, trout 1.6% and catfish 7.5%.    Among crustaceans the white shrimp, Penaeus vannamei is in the 5 million MT a year range, comprising more than 50% of the global total of farmed crustaceans.   Crawfish (Procambarus species) are a distant second at 18% and P. monodon trails at 8%.

 

The percentage of aquaculture production relying on the use of formulated feeds is increasing as the science of aquaculture expands.    Sources of high-quality fish meal for use in these feeds is limiting and the use of science-based alternatives is being explored.   Sustainable production of aquaculture will require the wide scale adoption of scientific methodologies to ensure biosecure, cost effective, and environmentally neutral production.  In 2020, Covid 19 had a chilling effect on many aspects of the global economy although overall aquaculture production does not appear to have been significantly impacted.   The rate of increase in production has been impacted although some countries have managed to increase production despite the changes in how seafood is being consumed.

Biotechnology Benefiting Aquaculture

Experienced

With more than 40 years of experience in many facets of aquaculture, Dr. Newman has a proven record of accomplishments. He has been managing companies for more than 30 yrs. and understands what it takes to make money. 

Connected
Analytical and Science Based
A Generalist and a Specialist

We can put you in contact with many potential clients whether it is feed mills or farmers.

I approach all projects from the same perspective. I am logical and analytical by nature and interested in making the world a better place at least from the standpoint of protein production through aquaculture. I call things the way I see them.

Having worked with multiple species, I have an in-depth knowledge of many disciplines ranging from nutrition to immunology.

Reach us at:

Email: sgnewm@aqua-in-tech.com

Tel: 1- (425) 787-5218

Lynnwood, WA   USA

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