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"In the present situation of world food shortage, techniques for intensive
production, particularly of prime protein food, like fish, deserves utmost
consideration and top priority."
~K.H. Alikunhi, 1971
  • World demand for seafood is sky-rocketing while
    capture fisheries has already reached a maximum
    sustainable yield of about 95 million tons since 1980
    because over-fishing, degradation of coastal marine-
    freshwater ecosystems and habitats caused dramatic
    declines in global catches.

  • About 90% of the oceans’ population of edible fish,
    like cod, halibut and tuna has been cut off due to
    high technology in global fishing, using sonar and
    satellite combined with extremely long fishing nets.

  • Recently, Richard Black, Environment Correspondent,
    BBC News website, wrote: “Only 50 Years Left for Sea
    Fish: There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the
    seas by the middle of the century if current trends
    continue according to a major scientific study by an
    international team of researchers.

  • Stocks have collapsed in nearly one-third of sea
    fisheries and the rate of decline is accelerating.

  • However, a greater use of protected areas could
    safeguard existing stocks, otherwise, this century will be
    the last century of wild seafood”!
  • The status quo, resulted in the emergence of
    aquaculture as the “Blue Revolution” of the present
    and the future, an environmentally friendly production
    land-based and off-shore culture systems which farm
    over 210 species of finfish, mollusks, crustaceans and
    seaweeds that supply large quantities of low-price
    food fish and shellfish.

  • Ronald J. Roberts of Sterling University, Scotland, was
    absolutely right when he mentioned: “Four fifth of the
    surface of our planet is water. Culture of these waters
    for the benefit of mankind is only beginning.”  

A collage highlighting the diversity of cultivable species and culture systems
of the "Blue Revolution".

  • During the past three decades, aquaculture has
    expanded, diversified, intensified and made
    remarkable technological advances.

  • The production of aquaculture has increased at an
    average compounded rate of 9.2% per year since  
    1970, compared with only 1.4% for capture fisheries
    and 2.8% for terrestrial meat production systems.

  • Currently, aquaculture is the fastest growing food
    production sector in all regions of the world except
    sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Aquaculture yields about 60 million tons annually and
    accounts for 43% of the world’s fish supply for direct
    human consumption.

  • Aquaculture is expected to fill a gap of 50 to 80 million
    tons of fish and seafood which capture fisheries will not
    supply on a sustainable basis beyond the 95 million
    tons per year.

  • Now, increasing emphasis is placed on enhanced
    enforcement of regulations and better governance of
    aquaculture in order to supplement the shortage of
    fish supply from capture fisheries, satisfy consumer
    demand and contribute to the nutritional security of
    the poor in many developing countries where fish
    provide more than 50% of the annual protein intake.

  • For these reasons, the Kyoto Declaration on
    Aquaculture at the First International FAO Technical
    Conference on Aquaculture in 1976, Kyoto, Japan,
    urged all governments of the world to give high priority
    to aquaculture development in national planning and
    also, the international financing agencies to recognize
    aquaculture as a priority sector for investment and
    provide adequate financial support for aquaculture
    development in developing countries especially,
    those in sub-Saharan region with great natural

By TT George at Aquaculture Canada 2007.
Copyright © 2008 Tilapia Miracle. All rights reserved.
T.T. George