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People Are Farming and Eating More Fish Than Ever

In its State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 report, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned about 811 million people today are hungry, while 3 billion “cannot afford healthy diets.” With fishing and aquaculture playing a major role in feeding global populations, the FAO keeps a close eye on the industry. Here is some of the key data in their latest annual report.


People Are Farming and Eating More Fish Than Ever
  1. In 2020, fisheries and aquaculture production reached a record 214 million tons, valued at about $424 billion.

  2. Aquatic foods provide about 17% of global animal protein, reaching over 50% in the cases of several nations in Africa and Asia.

  3. Aquatic animal production in 2020 was over 60% higher than the average in the 1990s—substantially outpacing global population growth—mostly due to increased aquaculture production.

  4. Total aquatic animal production is projected to reach 202 million tons in 2030, due mostly to growth of aquaculture.

  5. People are eating more seafoods than ever—about 20.2 kg (44.5 pounds) per capita in 2020—more than twice the average of 9.9 kg (21.8 pounds) per capita per year in the 1960s.

  6. Asia dominates world aquaculture, producing 91.6% of the global total.

  7. Fishery stocks—within biologically sustainable levels—declined to 64.6% in 2019, but 82.5% of 2019 landings were from biologically sustainable stocks, a 3.8% increase from 2017 levels.

  8. Aquaculture expansion has led to growth of aquatic animal production in inland waters (from 12% of total production in the late 1980s to 37% in 2020).

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