FAO Releases 2012 Aquaculture and Fisheries Report

There are many misconceptions in the public consciousness about the current state of world fisheries and aquaculture.   While there are many complex issues surrounding both of these industries, it is clear that aquaculture continues to play an increasingly important role in the global food supply.    There are several striking facts about the state of the aquaculture and fisheries industries described in “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012” report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations (FAO).  Here are some excerpts:

  • Fish and Fishery products [including aquaculture] represent 16.6% of total animal protein consumed worldwide.
  • Aquaculture contribution to world food fish production for human consumption was 47% in 2010 compared with only 9% in 1980.
  • The increase in worldwide food fish production (3.2%/yr) over the last 5 years has greatly outpaced population growth (1.7%/yr). Increased per capita food production has mainly been driven by increased aquaculture production from China and improved distribution channels.
  • Asia is by far the leading world aquaculture producer with 89% of total production, 60% of which comes from China alone.
  • United States by comparison produces 0.8% of total aquaculture products but is the second largest consumer of fish per capita at 24 kg. Largest consumer is China at 31.9 kg.
  • Aquaculture production continues to be the fastest growing agriculture sector however the pace has slowed from an annual average of 8.8% from 1980-2010 to an average of 6.3% from 2010-2012.
  • In the most important fishing nations, the share of employment in capture fisheries is stagnating or decreasing while aquaculture is providing increasing opportunities.


“Aquaculture is set to remain one of the fastest-growing animal food-producing sectors and, in the next decade, total production from both capture and aquaculture will exceed that of beef, pork or poultry.”

“Promoting sustainable fishing and fish farming can provide incentives for wider ecosystem stewardship. The greening of fisheries and aquaculture requires recognition of their wider societal roles within a comprehensive governance framework. There are several mechanisms to facilitate this transition, including adopting an ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture with fair and responsible tenure systems to turn resource users into resource stewards.”

“It is my sincere hope that this issue of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture will serve as a useful reference work on the sector – its status, trends, issues and outlook – and that it will contribute to a more complete understanding of the sector’s key role in shaping our world.”

Arni M. Mathiesen
Assistant Director-General
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

Solids Removal – A Comparison of a Swirl Separator and a Radial-Flow Settler

This is an whitepaper written on the subject of solids removal in a coldwater recirculating system, comparing the efficiency of swirl separators vs. radial-flow settlers. The conclusion was that radial-flow settlers were found to provide approximately twice the TSS removal efficiency of swirl separators of identical size and surface-loading rate. Also, the use of a radial-flow settler vs. a swirl separator provided considerably reduced solids loading on the microscreen drum filter, which would be expected to reduce its backwash requirements. The whitepaper was written jointly by John Davidson and Steven T. Summerfelt.


Tank culture of yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares: developing a spawning population for research purposes

This is an overview documenting the research that has been done on the captive spawning that has occurred at the Acotines Laboratory in Panama.  It was written jointly by Jeanne B. Wexler, Vernon P. Scholey, Robert J. Olson, Daniel Margulies, Akio Nakazawa, and Jenny M. Suter.


01 of 11: 33,500 gallon Aquarium

02 of 11: 600 gpm Aquarium Life Support System (LSS)

03 of 11: Custom Integrated Filtration System

04 of 11: Integrated Filtration Systems

05 of 11: HEX Drum Filter

06 of 11: Integrated Filtration System

07 of 11: Aquatic Research Center

08 of 11: Integrated Filtration Systems

09 of 11: Aquatic Research Systems

10 of 11: Aquatic Research System

11 of 11: Aquatic Research Facility