World Review

World Review

Aquaculture and wild caught supplied the world with about estimated 142 million tons of fish in 2008 and of this, 115 million tons was used as human food, providing an estimated apparent per capita supply of about 17 kg, which is an all-time high

Aquaculture accounted for 46 percent of total food fish supply.

In 2008, per capita food fish supply was estimated at 13.7 kg if data for China are excluded. In 2007, fish accounted for 15.7 percent of the global population's intake of animal protein and 6.1 percent of all protein consumed.


Globally, fish provides more than 1.5 billion people with almost 20 percent of their average per capita intake of animal protein, and 3.0 billion people with at least 15 percent of such protein.

China remains by far the largest fish-producing country, with production of 47.5 million tons in 2008 (32.7 and 14.8 million tons from aquaculture and wild caught, respectively).


Global wild caught production in 2008 was about 90 million tons, with an estimated first-sale value of US$93.9 billion, comprising about 80 million tons from marine waters and 10 million tons from inland waters. World wild caught production has been relatively stable in the past decades

Aquaculture continues to be the fastest-growing animal-food-producing sector and to outpace population growth, with per capita supply from aquaculture increasing from 0.7 kg in 1970 to 7.8 kg in 2008, an average annual growth rate of 6.6 percent.

While aquaculture production was less than 1 million tons per year in the early 1950s, production in 2008 was 52.5 million tons, with a first sale value of US$98.4 billion.

World aquaculture is heavily dominated by the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for 89 percent of production in terms of quantity and 79 percent in terms of value. This dominance is mainly because of China's enormous production, which accounts for 62 percent of global production in terms of quantity and 51 percent of global value.

The fish sector is a source of income and livelihood for millions of people around the world. Employment in fisheries and aquaculture has grown substantially in the last three decades, with an average rate of increase of 3.6 percent per year since 1980. It is estimated that, in 2008, 44.9 million people were directly engaged, full time or, more frequently, part time, in aquaculture or wild caught. This number represents a 167 percent increase compared with the 16.7 million people in 1980.



World Production



Employment in the fisheries sector has grown faster than the world's population and then employment in traditional agriculture. The 44.9 million people engaged in the sector in 2008 represented 3.5 percent of the 1.3 billion people economically active in the broad agriculture sector worldwide, compared with 1.8 percent in 1980. Although Wild caught continue to provide by far the greater number of jobs in the primary sector, it is apparent that the share of employment in wild caught is stagnating or decreasing and increased opportunities are being provided by aquaculture.