Janet Larsen, the Director of Research with with the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., said that aquaculture on a global scale will be even more important as getting much more food from natural systems may not be possible.
They say that the only constant thing in life is change.
There have been many changes in our lives in the past 30 years or so and now there are major changes happening in human food consumption on a global scale.
2011 was the first year the world farmed fish production topped beef production. In 2012 the world’s farmed fish production reached 66 million tons while the world’s beef production that year was 63 million tons.
And, according to the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), 2013 may very well be the first year that humans eat more fish raised on farms than fish caught in the wild.
The above information, based on the global aquaculture picture, is taken from a report releases by the EPI on June 12, which states that the above facts represent a historic shift in food production – a shift that at its core is a story of natural limits.
Janet Larsen is an official with the EPI and is the co-author of the report “Farmed Fish Production Overtakes Beef” that was released earlier this month.
Larsen said that we cannot get much more out of the wild fishery than we’re currently catching without scaling back our fishing efforts and allowing stocks to rebuild.
“Getting more fish from natural systems may be impossible,” Larsen said, “so all of our additional consumption is coming from aquaculture projects around the world.
“It seems like in 2013 or 2014 will be the first time we get more fish from farms than we do from the oceans, and aquaculture will become more important as time goes on.
The report reads: ‘The bottom line is that getting much more food from natural systems may not be possible. Much of the world’s grassland is locked at or beyond capacity, and most of the world’s fisheries are fished to their limits or are already crashing.’
Another reason aquaculture will become increasingly important is that annual fish consumption is about 42 lbs. per person today which is up from 25 lbs. in the 1970s.
This amount is likely to keep rising which will make sustainable aquaculture projects very important in this century as our global population keeps growing at about 80 million persons a year.
China accounts for 62 percent of the world’s farmed fish. Carp is the mainstay of the Chinese aquacture making up nearly half the country’s output. Filter-feeding mollusks like clams and oysters account for close to a third of Chain’s aquaculture product. Carp, catfish and other species are raised in Chinese rice paddies where their waste can fertilize the grain crop. This is also practiced in Indonesia, Thailand and Egypt. Other top aquacultural producers include India, Viet Nam and Bangladesh.