Aquaculture is a booming $170 billion industry.
Aquaculture already provides almost half of the fish consumed globally and has grown faster than any other form of food production.
Feed costs account for a significant portion, ie. 50 to 75% of aquafarmers’ total production costs. Fishmeal and fish oil are important ingredients in most aquafeeds.
The price of fishmeal has increased significantly in recent years (doubling every 7 years) due to:
reduced and variable supply of baitfish due to environmental changes such as recurring El Nino effects
variations in baitfish quality
biosecurity import risks
competition for sardines for human consumption and fish oil products
rising energy and transportation costs
Aquaculture has increased from 25.7% of total world fish production in 2000 to 42.2% in 2012. In Asia 54% of fish consumed in 2012 was provided from aquaculture. Aquaculture now supplies 50% - or nearly 63 million tonnes – of fish consumed globally and with production from wild fish stocks levelling off, fish farmers will be required to supply the estimated additional 50 million tonnes required to feed the rising world population by 2030.
(Source: FAO World review of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014)