Global per capital fish consumption rises above 20 kilograms a year

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/7/8 10:26:54

The UN food agency reported that global per capita fish consumption has risen above 20 kilograms a year, thanks to stronger aquaculture supply and firm demand as well as record hauls for some key species and reduced wastage, a UN spokesman said here Thursday.

In the new State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report, which was released earlier Thursday, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now fished at biologically unsustainable levels, triple the level of 1974, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

"Yet despite notable progress in some areas, the state of the world's marine resources has not improved, with almost a third of commercial fish stocks now fished at biologically unsustainable levels," he said.

Global total capture fishery production in 2014 was 93.4 million tonnes, including output from inland waters, up slightly over the previous two years, the report said. Alaska pollock was the top species, replacing anchoveta for the first time since 1998 and offering evidence that effective resource management practices have worked well.

Record catches for four highly valuable groups -- tunas, lobsters, shrimps and cephalopods -- were reported in 2014, according to the report.

There were around 4.6 million fishing vessels in the world in 2014, 90 percent of which are in Asia and Africa, and only 64,000 of which were 24 meters or longer, according to the report.

Globally, fish provided 6.7 percent of all protein consumed by humans, as well as offering a rich source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron. Some 57 million people were engaged in the primary fish production sectors, a third of them in aquaculture.

Fishery products accounted for one percent of all global merchandise trade in value terms, representing more than nine percent of total agricultural exports. Worldwide exports amounted to 148 billion US dollars in 2014, up from 8 billion US dollars in 1976.

Developing countries were the source of 80 billion US dollars of fishery exports, providing higher net trade revenues than meat, tobacco, rice and sugar combined.

"Life below water, which the Sustainable Development Agenda commits us to conserve, is a major ally in our effort to meet a host of challenges, from food security to climate change," FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said.

"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."

Posted in: Food

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