World fish consumption is expected to increase by 15% between 2018 and 2030, according to a report released Monday by the United Nations Food Agency (FAO).
Fish consumption would drop from 179 million tonnes of fish in 2018 to 204 million tonnes in 2030, according to this report on the state of world fisheries and aquaculture, published every two years. This increase, if it is anything but anecdotal, marks however a clear “slowdown compared to growth of 27% over the period 2007-2018”, notes the FAO, while world consumption is growing inexorably.
“Global annual consumption of fish is 20.5 kilograms per person, a record level that is expected to increase over the next ten years,” the agency said in the report. It could reach 21.5 kilos per person by 2030, according to the FAO, a progression which questions, taking into account the projections of the UN on the evolution of the world population: this one is expected at around 8, 5 billion people in 2030, an increase roughly equivalent to that of world fish production.
“A number of factors should contribute to this slowdown,” according to the FAO, which cites very diverse causes, notably linked to the growing weight of aquaculture. It thus evokes “the wider adoption and application of environmental regulations”, or the lesser “availability of water resources and appropriate production sites”, the increase in aquatic animal diseases linked to intensive production practices, or the decrease in productivity gains in aquaculture.
Because the latter, given the stagnation in the quantity of fish caught in the wild, will, as in recent years, carry all the increase in fish available on our plates.
The report establishes the increase in consumption of farmed fish at 26.4 million tonnes compared to 25.9 million tonnes for overall consumption, including fishing.
China, queen of aquaculture
China will remain, by far, the world’s largest producer of fish, mainly through its aquaculture, which should continue to account for more than half of world production of farmed fish, with 60.4% 108.5 million tonnes of farmed fish on the planet.
Far behind, countries such as India and Indonesia, with 10 and 7.7 Mt respectively, should see their production accelerate and thus compensate for a deceleration of Chinese farms, engaged according to the report in a transition “aimed at better integrating the production to the environment ”.
China’s share in world aquaculture production would drop from 58 to 56%.
Regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to initial projections, “it appears that fishing activities worldwide have decreased by around 6.5%” at the end of April, “due to restrictions and labor shortage caused by the health emergency. ” “The disruptions in the international transport sector have particularly weighed on the production of aquaculture for export,” adds this report.