The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, has warned that the global fish production is approaching its sustainable limit.
According to the UN Agency, about ninety per cent of the world’s stocks are now overfished, predicting a seventeen per cent increase in global fish production by 2025.
The UN FAO’s Fisheries Director, Manuel Barange said that overfishing rates of about sixty per cent in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions were “particularly worrying”.
He said “There is an absolute limit to what we can extract from the sea and it is possibly very close to current production levels, which have stabilised over last few years. They have grown a little in recent years but we don’t expect much more growth because of the rampant increase in aquaculture production.”
Aquaculture is now forecast to overtake wild-caught fish as the source of most fish consumption in 2021, for the first time.
The rise of aquaculture has also benefitted trade, employment and diets in the developing world, with global per capita fish consumption estimated at a record of 20 kilograms.
Some campaign groups though fear that aquaculture may introduce invasive species, diseases and parasites. The potential for chemical pollution and use of transgenic species are also causes for concern, as are the impacts on wild fisheries and natural habitats.