The Global Fishing Industry
The multi-billion dollar fishing industry is a source of employment for almost 50 million people worldwide including recreational, artisan and commercial fishing activities. The latter is aimed at delivering fish, aquatic plants and invertebrates for human consumption, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food additives and feedstock.
The Fish Story
Fisheries (decrease in availability)
Overfishing, or over-exploitation of maritime resources is an acute problem for the oceans, its wildlife and communities worldwide. As a result of this resource depletion, commercial fisheries are being limited in operations and fishing is no longer able to support the needs of a growing human population. Current annual world seafood production is 160 million tons, with a growth rate of up to 6% per year Nevertheless, over the last two decades, fisheries production has been at a steady state, supplying approximately 90 million tons per year (human and non-human consumption). Something must change to create a long term viable, sustainable solution. Aquaculture is, thus, the sole reliable and sustainable source for an increase in seafood production into the future.
Aquaculture (increase in demand)
The aquaculture industry is growing quickly and already supplies over half of worldwide seafood for human consumption. However, the abovementioned depletion of wild fish populations is deleteriously affecting the traditional aquaculture approach: capture-based aquaculture. Increasingly challenged by relying on capturing wild seeds to support its operations, the multi-billion dollar industry has an exponentially growing need for the creation of economically viable fish breeding centers and hatcheries. Those that specialize in capture-based species, such as the flathead grey mullet, will have the upper hand creating sustainable businesses.
Hatcheries (providing the seeds – fingerlings)
The future for fish hatcheries is exciting. These operations are playing a greater and more important role in the modern aquaculture industry having the task of providing a controlled environment necessary to produce high quantities of quality fingerlings. Without sufficient and capable hatchery operations producing fingerlings, the multi-billion fishing industry could fall precipitously. Only hatcheries offering sustainable and economically sound solutions to meet the increasing needs of fish farms and human consumption will succeed over time.