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State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture

About the report

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) is the flagship publication of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. This premier advocacy document is published every two years to provide policy-makers, civil society and those whose livelihoods depend on the sector a comprehensive, objective and global view of capture fisheries and aquaculture, including associated policy issue.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2018

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2018 emphasizes the sector’s role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and measurement of progress towards these goals. It notes the particular contributions of inland and small-scale fisheries, and highlights the importance of rights-based governance for equitable and inclusive development.

Key points

  • Global fish production peaked at about 171 million tonnes in 2016, with aquaculture representing 47 percent of the total and 53 percent, if non-food uses (including reduction to fishmeal and fish oil) are excluded. With capture fishery production relatively static since the late 1980s, aquaculture has been responsible for the continuing impressive growth in the supply of fish for human consumption.
  • With 5.8 percent annual growth rate during the period 2001–2016, aquaculture continues to grow faster than other major food production sectors. For the first time aquaculture provides 53 percent of fish for human consumption.
  • Fishers and fish farmers : The most recent official statistics indicate that 59.6 million people were engaged in the primary sector of capture fisheries and aquaculture in 2016, with 19.3 million people engaged in aquaculture and 40.3 million people engaged in fisheries. The proportion of those employed in capture fisheries decreased from 83 percent in 1990 to 68 percent in 2016, while the proportion of those employed in aquaculture correspondingly increased from 17 to 32 percent.
  • The fishing fleet : The total number of fishing vessels in the world in 2016 was estimated to be about 4.6 million, unchanged from 2014. The fleet in Asia was the largest, consisting of 3.5 million vessels, accounting for 75 percent of the global fleet. In Africa and North America the estimated number of vessels declined from 2014 by just over 30 000 and by nearly 5 000, respectively. For Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Oceania the numbers all increased, largely as a result of improvements in estimation procedures.
  • Fish utilization and processing : In 2016, of the 171 million tonnes of total fish production, about 88 percent or over 151 million tonnes were utilized for direct human consumption. This share has increased significantly in recent decades, as it was 67 percent in the 1960s.
  • Fish trade and commodities: Fish and fish products are some of the most traded food items in the world today, and most of the world’s countries report some fish trade. In 2016, about 35 percent of global fish production entered international trade in various forms for human consumption or non-edible purposes.
  • In per capita terms, food fish consumption has grown from 9.0 kg in 1961 to 20.2 kg in 2015, at an average rate of about 1.5 percent per year. Preliminary estimates for 2016 and 2017 point to further growth to about 20.3 and 20.5 kg, respectively.
  • Globally, fish and fish products provide an average of only about 34 calories per capita per day. However more than as an energy source, the dietary contribution of fish is significant in terms of high-quality, easily digested animal proteins and especially in fighting micronutrient deficiencies. A portion of 150 g of fish provides about 50 to 60 percent of an adult’s daily protein requirement. Fish proteins are essential in the diet of some densely populated countries where the total protein intake is low, and are particularly important in diets in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The following major trends for the period up to 2030 emerge from the analyses:

  • World fish production, consumption and trade are expected to increase, but with a growth rate that will slow over time.
  • Despite reduced capture fisheries production in China, world capture fisheries production is projected to increase slightly through increased production in other areas if resources are properly managed.
  • Expanding world aquaculture production, although growing more slowly than in the past, is anticipated to fill the supply–demand gap.
  • Prices will all increase in nominal terms while declining in real terms, although remaining high.
  • Food fish supply will increase in all regions, while per capita fish consumption is expected to decline in Africa, which raises concerns in terms of food security.
  • Trade in fish and fish products is expected to increase more slowly than in the past decade, but the share of fish production that is exported is projected to remain stable.
  • Conflict, political instability or natural disasters have resulted in protracted crises, adding to vulnerability and food insecurity. Strong political commitment, respect for basic human rights and the integration of humanitarian and development assistance are necessary to address protracted crises.

Source : FAO

Related resources

To view the complete report, click here.

 



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