My esteemed colleage John Stevely, the Manatee County Sea Grant Agent, just wrote a great article that addresses the topic and I thought I'd share it with you.
The Blue Revolution: Where will our seafod come from in the future?
by John Stevely, Manatee County Sea Grant AgentThere has been a truly amazing revolution going on in our lifetime. The past four decades have seen the birth and rapid growth of the world fish farming industry. Currently, almost half (47%) of seafood is produced by farming (also called aquaculture). If the industry continues to grow at its present rate (7.4%), it may provide 62% of the world’s protein by 2050.
This is not to say that the world’s wild-caught fisheries will not provide a significant share of seafood production. Although there have been some claims that our oceans’ fisheries production will collapse this century, I do not believe this will be the case.
Yes, there have been problems with collapses of major fisheries, but currently over half of the world fisheries are at sustainable levels. I think solutions will be found for some of the problem fisheries. However, it is true that we have at least reached maximum production and there will be level production or somewhat reduced production in the future.
|Most farmed seafood originates in |
Asian countries. (Florida Sea Grant)
Why is that? There are a number of contributing explanations (government policies and subsidies, geography, etc.), but the one-word answer is economics. It is very difficult to compete with low-cost land and a seemingly endless supply of low-cost labor found in many Asian countries, especially China.
|Salmon farm in British Columbia |
(BC Salmon Farmers Association)
|New design for submersible fish cage. |
(Ocean Farm Technologies)