Aquaculture Articles on Aquaculture Industry

Asia has a long history of aquaculture activity consisting of simple, low-cost, extensive culture methods, mainly for household and local consumption. However, in the past two decades, technical advances in culture methods and systems, and increasing market demand in the light of stagnating wild catches, have resulted in significant increases in production levels and efficiencies, especially in export-oriented sectors of the industry such as shrimp.

“World production, total consumption, food demand and per capita food consumption will increase over the next three decades; however, the rate of these increases will slow over time. World capture production is projected to stagnate, while world aquaculture production is projected to increase, albeit at a slower rate than in the past".

It is always interesting to try and assess the challenges and opportunities of a particular industry segment. We often hear the farmed seafood sector referred to as the aquaculture industry. In reality this sector should be termed the ‘aquaculture industries’ because of the number of different species that are farmed, the different culture requirements of the animals, the variety of life histories, the nutritional requirements, and the range of food products that are marketed. Additionally, in the US the aquaculture industries are relatively young and small compared to other domesticated food animal industries; and because they are dependent on available water resources, requirements for environmental stewardship can be strict.

As world population continues to expand, with a projected increase from 6 billion people in the year 2000 to 9-10 billion by 2050, a great challenge for the agricultural sectors is to produce enough food to satisfy global demand. Beef and Poultry production have been affected by mad cow disease and avian flu. As the world population increases at a rapid pace, fish and fishery products are going to be one among the many food groups that will come under increasing pressure. Just about all the world’s natural fisheries resources are fully exploited, and the challenge for aquaculture is to expand, to meet the future shortfall in fish supplies. Compared to other food sectors, seafood consumption is ranked number four behind chicken, beef and pork.