Aquaculture serves many purposes and seafood production is paramount among them. Aquaculture has helped improve nutrition and food security in many parts of the world. Increasing global population coupled with icreased per capita seafood consumption result in constant, growing demand for seafood. Global seafood consumption reached 143 million metric tons in 2009, which is an increase of more than 20 million tons in 10 years.
According the the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, “With capture fisheries production stagnating, major increases in fish food production are forecast to come from aquaculture. Taking into account the population forecast, an additional 27 million tonnes of production will be needed to maintain the present level of per capita consumption in 2030.”
Aquaculture is one of the most resource-efficient ways to produce protein. Fish come out well because, in general, they convert more of the food they eat into body mass than land animals. “Feed Conversion Ratios” indicate how many pounds of feed it takes to produce a pound of protein. As can be seen in the table below, salmon – the most feed-intensive farmed fish – is still far more efficient than other forms of protein production.