Citation Bostock J, McAndrew B, Richards R, Jauncey K, Telfer T, Lorenzen K, Little DC, Ross L, Handisyde N, Gatward I & Corner R (2010) Aquaculture: Global status and trends. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365 (1554), pp. 2897-2912. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2010.0170
Abstract Aquaculture contributed 43 per cent of aquatic animal food for human consumption in 2007 (e.g. fish, crustaceans and molluscs, but excluding mammals, reptiles and aquatic plants) and is expected to grow further to meet the future demand. It is very diverse and, contrary to many perceptions, dominated by shellfish and herbivorous and omnivorous pond fish either entirely or partly utilizing natural productivity. The rapid growth in the production of carnivorous species such as salmon, shrimp and catfish has been driven by globalizing trade and favourable economics of larger scale intensive farming. Most aquaculture systems rely on low/uncosted environmental goods and services, so a critical issue for the future is whether these are brought into company accounts and the consequent effects this would have on production economics. Failing that, increased competition for natural resources will force governments to allocate strategically or leave the market to determine their use depending on activities that can extract the highest value. Further uncertainties include the impact of climate change, future fisheries supplies (for competition and feed supply), practical limits in terms of scale and in the economics of integration and the development and acceptability of new bio-engineering technologies. In the medium term, increased output is likely to require expansion in new environments, further intensification and efficiency gains for more sustainable and cost-effective production. The trend towards enhanced intensive systems with key monocultures remains strong and, at least for the foreseeable future, will be a significant contributor to future supplies. Dependence on external feeds (including fish), water and energy are key issues. Some new species will enter production and policies that support the reduction of resource footprints and improve integration could lead to new developments as well as reversing decline in some more traditional systems.