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Important seafood industry statistics everyone in the fishery and aquaculture sector should know

Global seafood industry statistics 2020 - A recap of SOFIA 2020 by the UN FAO

What is the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA)?

Every two years, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) releases a highly anticipated report about the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA). The report provides policy-makers, academics, civil society and those whose livelihoods depend on the sector with a comprehensive, objective, and global view of capture fisheries and aquaculture.

With a new report expected to be released in mid-2022, we’re taking a moment to highlight some of the key facts and figures that were covered in the most recent 2020 SOFIA report

Key Seafood Facts and Figures

  • Global fish production has reached an estimated 179 million tonnes in 2018, with a first sale value of USD $401 billion.
  • 156 million tonnes of the overall total was used for human consumption in 2018, equivalent to an estimated 20.5 kg per capita.
  • 22 million tonnes of the remaining total was used for non-food uses in 2018. Non-food use primarily consisted of fishmeal and fish oil production.
  • Aquaculture production reached 82 million tonnes in 2018, with a value of USD $250 billion.
  • Aquaculture accounted for 46 percent of total production and 52 percent of production meant for human consumption.
  • Global capture fisheries production rose by 14 percent from 1990 to 2018.
  • Global aquaculture production rose by 527 percent from 1990 to 2018.
  • Total fish consumption rose by 122 percent from 1990 to 2018.
  • Fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels fell from 90 percent in 1990 to 65.8 percent in 2017.

World Seafood Production

  • Total global fish production reached 179 million tonnes in 2018 (excludes aquatic mammals, crocodiles, alligators and caimans, seaweeds and other aquatic plants)
  • Aquaculture (inlands waters) – 51 million tonnes in 2018
  • Capture fisheries (marine waters) – 84 million tonnes in 2018
  • Capture fisheries (inlands waters) – 12 million tonnes in 2018

Top 7 Producing Countries of Global Marine Capture

  • China reached 12.68 million tonnes of marine capture in 2018, equating to 15 percent of total world captures.
  • Peru reached 7.15 million tonnes of marine capture in 2018, equating to 8 percent of total world captures. If anchoveta marine capture is excluded, Peru’s production is only 0.96 million in 2018.
  • Indonesia reached 6.71 million tonnes of marine capture in 2018, equating to 8 percent of total world captures.
  • The Russian Federation reached 4.84 million tonnes of marine capture in 2018, equating to 6 percent of total world captures.
  • The United States of America reached 4.72 million tonnes of marine capture in 2018, equating to 6 percent of total world captures.
  • India reached 3.62 million tonnes of marine capture in 2018, equating to 4 percent of total world captures.
  • Vietnam reached 3.19 million tonnes of marine capture in 2018, equating to 4 percent of total world captures.
  • Over 50 percent of total world marine capture in 2018 is from the top 7 producing countries.
  • 74 percent of total world marine capture in 2018 is from the top 20 producing countries.
  • Click to see the top 25 fishing nations in 2018 responsible for 80 percent of total global marine capture.

Top 3 Marine Capture Species

  • Anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) – 7 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 10 percent of total global marine capture of finfish.
  • Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) – 3.4 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 5 percent of total global marine capture of finfish.
  • Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) – 3.2 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 4 percent of total global marine capture of finfish.
  • Special mention: Tuna and tuna-like species – 7.9 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 11 percent of total global marine capture of finfish.

World Aquaculture Production of Food Fish and Aquatic Plants

  • World aquaculture production reached 114.5 million tonnes in 2018, equating to a total farmgate sale value of USD $263.6 billion (price at farm, excluding transportation and delivery).
  • Aquatic animal production reached 82.1 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 72 percent of total aquaculture production.
  • Aquatic algae production reached 32.4 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 28 percent of total aquaculture production.
  • Ornamental seashells and pearl production reached 26,000 tonnes in 2018.
  • Inland aquaculture production reached 51.3 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 62.5 percent of total aquaculture production.

Top Aquaculture Producers of Farmed Aquatic Animals by Region

  • Asia produced 72.8 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 88.69 percent of total world farmed aquatic animal production.
  • The Americas produced 3.8 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 4.63 percent of total world farmed aquatic animal production.
  • Europe produced 3.1 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 3.75 percent of total world farmed aquatic animal production.
  • Africa produced 2.2 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 2.67 percent of total world farmed aquatic animal production.
  • Oceania produced 0.2 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 0.25 percent of total world farmed aquatic animal production.

Fishers and Farmers Across the World

  • An estimated 59.51 million people were engaged in the primary fishing and aquaculture sector in 2018.
  • 20.53 million people were working in aquaculture in 2018.
  • 38.98 million people were working in fisheries in 2018.
  • In 2018, 85 percent of fishery and aquaculture workers were in Asia.
  • Only 14 percent of workers engaged in fisheries and aquaculture were women in 2018.
  • Women working in fisheries and aquaculture are often assigned the most unstable roles, or poorly paid or unpaid positions that require lower qualifications.

The World’s Fishing Fleet

  • Fishing vessels throughout the world totalled 4.6 million in 2018.
  • There are 2.8 percent fewer fishing vessels in 2018 than 2016.
  • Asia has the largest fishing fleet with 3.1 million vessels in 2018, equating to 58 percent of the global total.
  • Motorized fishing vessels totalled 2.9 million in 2018, equating to 63% of the total fleet.

Fishery Resources – Sustainability

  • The percentage of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels decreased from 90% in 1974 to 65.8% in 2017.
  • An estimated 78.7 percent of landings originated from biologically sustainable stocks in 2017. Landings are defined as catches of marine fish brought into foreign or domestic ports.
  • Underfished stocks accounted for 6.2 percent and maximally sustainably fished stocks accounted for 59.6 percent of total number of assessed stocks

Fish Utilization and Processing

  • Fish production meant for direct human consumption reached 179 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 88 percent of total fish production.
  • Fish production meanted for non-food purposes reached 22 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 12 percent of total fish production. 
  • Fishmeal and fish oil accounted for 18 million tonnes or 80 percent of total non-food use in 2018.
  • Live, fresh or chilled fish represented 44 percent, the largest share, of fish utilized for direct human consumption in 2018.
  • Global fisheries and aquaculture wasted 35 percent of the total harvest in 2018.

Global Consumption of Seafood

  • Fish provided 3.3 billion people with nearly 20 percent of their average per capita intake of animal protein in 2018.
  • Fish accounted for 17 percent of total animal protein, and 7 percent of all proteins consumed globally in 2017.
  • The average annual growth rate of total food fish consumption increased at 3.1 percent from 1961-2017, outpacing the annual population growth rate of 1.6 percent.
  • Food fish consumption rose from 9.0 kg in 1961 to 20.3 kg in 2017.
  • Per capita fish consumption reached 20.5 kg in 2018.
  • Aquaculture accounted for a 52 percent share of fish production destined for human consumption in 2018. 

What is Driving the Increase in Seafood Production?

  • Increased production
  • Technological developments
  • Rising incomes worldwide
  • Reduction in loss and waste
  • Increased awareness of health benefits of fish

Seafood Trade and Products

  • International trade of fish and fish products reached 67 million tonnes in 2018, equating to 38 percent of all fish caught or farmed worldwide.
  • The total export value of fish and fish products reached USD $164 billion in 2018, equating to 11 percent of the export value of agricultural products (excluding forest products).
  • Exports of fish and fish products exceeded 40 percent of total value of merchandise trade in Cabo Verde, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Maldives, Seychelles, and Vanuatu in 2018.

Looking to the Future

  • Total fish production is expected to grow from 179 million in 2018 to 204 million in 2030.
  • Aquaculture is projected to reach 109 million tonnes in 2030, an increase of 26 million tonnes or 32 percent over 2018. 
  • Asia is expected to be responsible for over 89 percent of the increase in aquaculture production by 2030, continuing its dominance of the sector.
  • Africa is expected to grow the most with a 48 percent increase in aquaculture culturing capacity.
  • Prices are expected to rise in the fishery and aquaculture sector in the long term up to 2030.
  • Food fish supply will increase in all regions.
  • Per capita fish consumption in Africa is expected to decline.
  • Share of fish production destined for human consumption is expected to grow, reaching 89 percent by 2030.
  • World food fish consumption in 2030 is expected to grow by 18 percent when compared to 2018.
  • Trade in fish and fish products is expected to increase at a slower rate than in the last decade.

For more detailed information, download the 224 page SOFIA 2020 report by the UN FAO.

Trademodo - Paul Panhttps://trademodo.com/about/
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