It’s no doubt that the world eats a whole lot of fish, but the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released its latest statistics, noting that the global per capita fish consumption has grown to new heights of 20 kilograms.
Fishermen collect their valuable bounty from the water. Image Credit: UN Photo/M Guthrie
Despite efforts to battle wild fish consumption by increasing the farm-raising of fish, it would seem that these agricultural methods are not enough to sustain the demand for fish to eat, and as a result, we’re still dipping into the wild waters for food.
This can be a problem for many fish species, which continue to decline in numbers as a result of over-fishing wild fish stocks and climate change.
Despite the difficulties, the numbers also reveal that farm-raised fish are being consumed in higher numbers now than ever before, which means that aquacultural efforts are certainly easing the strain on wild fish populations, even if it’s just a little bit.
“This report shows that capture fisheries can be managed sustainably, while also pointing to the enormous and growing potential of aquaculture to boost human nutrition and support livelihoods with productive jobs,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in a statement.
The efforts to increase aquaculture are doing a lot to help preserve species of fish in the wild while still keeping our hungry demands for fish met. In addition, harvesting fish for slaughter also produces jobs and nutrition for human beings on top of helping the wild fish species.
Aquaculture is believed to be one of the largest driving forces behind the increased consumption of fish around the world, which is up from about 9.9 kilograms in the 1960s, and then 14.4 kilograms in the 1990s.
As the number of consumed fish per year, per person continues to increase, however, it becomes clear that aquaculture needs to increase simultaneously if wild fish populations are to stay at stable rates.
Fish provide a lot of protein in smaller serving amounts than cattle and pork, which makes it a great alternative food source for humans looking for a better diet with nutrition. It doesn’t come off as much of a surprise that more people who are trying to eat healthier are turning to fish.
Source: United Nations News Center