Knowledge Note

Driven by increasing population, wealth, and the health benefits of seafood, demand for finfish and shellfish exceeds estimated total sustainable catch of wild fish by nearly 100 percent (TEEB 2010). Due to high local demand and temperatures, aquaculture is and will probably remain a business dominated by developing countries, where aquaculture employed an estimated 16 million people in the value chain (0.3 pers-years per ton of fish delivered to market) in 2010, half of which were women. Aquaculture is already a credible economic engine and seafood production system, having contributed 40 percent—some 60 million metric tons—to total supply in 2010 (FAO 2012). Nearly doubling in the 13 years from 1995 to 2007, aquaculture needs to nearly double again in the next 15 years to ensure the global seafood supply (OECD 2010). However, to secure the benefits of a robust aquaculture sector over the long term, the industry must respect ecological limits to growth.

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