State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2018 / by Francisco Blaha

While I’m in Tuvalu to do some work on transhipments monitoring (and hopefully celebrate with them that their yellow card is lifted), most of the people I work with is at FAO HQ in Rome at the Committee of Fisheries biannual meeting in Rome #COFI2018. This is the biggest fisheries event there, and I was lucky to have participated in one while being an officer there. They are really informative events

 mosty sustainable, but the unsustainable keeps creeping in

mosty sustainable, but the unsustainable keeps creeping in

A lot of work also goes in the publication of the biennial State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report.  Since 1994 @FAOFISH publishes it to provide a comprehensive, objective and global view of capture fisheries and aquaculture. Today the released #SOFIA2018 as part of the COFI activities.

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This report is an Xray of where we at in fisheries worldwide (which does not mean that is the same case at every location, but rather a worldwide average). It is compulsory reading if you have a keen interest in fisheries and is the product of a mammoth effort by many of my former colleagues in Rome. The original and a very informative website are available here http://www.fao.org/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture/en/ 

A really succinct bullet point summary of its findings is below:

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  • Global fish production in 2016 rose to 171 mT. 88% (151mT) were used for human consumption (a record). Aquaculture contributed 53% of fish produced for human consumption.  
  • Per capita fish consumption grew to 20.3 kg in 2016. The highest consumption, >50 kg/year, is found in SIDS. Between 1961 and 2016, the average annual increase in global food fish consumption outpaced population growth by a factor of 2.
  • Global capture fisheries production was 90.9 mT in 2016 (79.3mT from marine capture), a small decrease from 2015, largely due to anchoveta, under the influence of El Niño. China, Indonesia, USA, Russia and Peru are the top producers.
  •  Average annual growth in aquaculture was 5.8% in 2000–2016. China has produced >50% of world’s aquaculture every year since 1991. In 2016, 37 countries produced more farmed than wild-caught fish- Collectively they account for 50% of the world’s population
  •  In 2016, global aquaculture production has been recorded for a total of 598 “species items”. In comparison, over 2,100 species are fished in the wild, demonstrating the huge biodiversity in aquatic systems
  • The fraction of marine fish stocks fished within biologically sustainable levels has exhibited a decreasing trend, from 90.0 % in 1974 to 66.9 % in 2015 (it was 68.6% in 2013). This threatens our capacity to achieve SDG14 targets 
  • The fraction of marine fish stocks fished at biologically unsustainable levels has increased from 10% in 1974 to 33.1 % in 2015 (it was 31.4% in 2013). The Mediterranean and Black Sea, SE Pacific and SW Atlantic have over 60% of assessed stocks fished at unsustainable levels
  • In 2016, about 35 % of global fish production entered international trade. Exports rose to USD 143 billion in 2016, 54% for developing countries – exceeding revenues for meats, tobacco, rice and sugar combined.
  • Loss or wastage between landing and consumption decreased but still accounts for an estimated 27 %  of landed fish.