Future fish production – a risky business?
While forecasting that global fisheries and aquaculture production will grow 12% over the 10-year period through to 2032 to reach 202 million tonnes, with the total volume produced for human consumption expected to increase by 14% to 182 million tonnes, the new Agricultural Outlook 2023-2032 compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations also cautions that the fisheries and aquaculture sectors will continue to face significant uncertainties over the next decade.
“On aquaculture, climate-driven changes in temperature, precipitation, ocean acidification, incidence and extent of hypoxia and sea level rise, availability of wild seed as well as reducing precipitation leading to increasing competition for freshwater, amongst others, are expected to have long-term impacts.” Climate change impacts will not be evenly distributed, with larger changes expected in tropical regions and less temperate zones, it adds.
As governments come under increasing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the food system and transition to net-zero, the prices of key energy inputs into capture fisheries (such as diesel fuel) and aquaculture (electricity) may change altering the profitability of some activities, with impacts on the types of production and the structure of the fleet. Blue Transformation focuses on more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable blue food systems from capture fisheries and aquaculture, promoted through improved policies and programmes for integrated science-based management, technological innovation, and private-sector engagement. It has three main objectives: sustainable aquaculture expansion and intensification; effective management of all fisheries; and upgraded value chains.
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