The seemingly inexhaustible oceans have proved to be finite after all. Capture of wild fish have leveled off since the mid-1980s, and many stocks of fish are fished so heavily that their future is threatened. And yet the world’s appetite for fish has continued to increase, particularly as urban populations and incomes grow in developing countries. Aquaculture—fish farming—has arrived to meet this increased demand. Production of fish from aquaculture has exploded in the past 20 years and continues to expand around the world. But will aquaculture be sufficient to provide affordable fish to the world over the next 20 years? And what environmental and poverty problems will aquaculture face as it expands?
Using a state-of-the-art computer model of global supply and demand for food and feed commodities, this book projects the likely changes in the fisheries sector over the next two decades. As prices for most food commodities fall, fish prices are expected to rise, reflecting demand for fish that outpaces the ability of the world to supply it. The model shows that developing countries will consume and produce a much greater share of the world’s fish in the future, and trade in fisheries commodities will also increase. The authors show the causes and implications of these and other changes, and argue for specific actions and policies that can improve outcomes for the poor and for the environment.