The future of aquaculture

Production potential


Muir (1995) and FAO (2007)  

In 1970, aquaculture represented only 5% of world aquatic production. Some optimists predicted that aquacultural production would reach 50 million tonnes by the year 2000. In 2005, aquaculture (animals and plants together) represented 40% of production.

In 1995 the FAO predicted that aquacultural production would have an output around 55 million tonnes in 2050 (not including plants). In view of the rapid evolution of production though, we would tend to think that we are now closer to the 1970 prediction and that animal production will reach 60 million tonnes in 2010. Production of aquatic plants (green curve) fits the 1995 predictions better (green rectangles). In 2010, this production should be about 20 million tonnes.

Demand for aquatic products for human consumption


Ifremer Yves Harache / FAO 1998 

A constantly increasing demand for aquatic products is predicted on a worldwide scale. There will be a particular need to :
- find means of limiting the risks of environmental damage so as to avoid situations like those already seen in some countries (e.g. shrimp farming on South-East Asia);
- reconsider primary food source materials for fish feed, as use of natural marine resources must not increase at the same rate as aquacultural production;
- obtain juveniles of sufficient quality and quantity;
- keep sanitary risks under control.