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EUMOFA Highlights: Global consumption of animal protein and the place of fish

As reported in the most recent EUMOFA monthly highlights, fish protein consumption -- especially from aquaculture -- is growing globally, particularly in lesser-developed countries. From 1961 to 2013, global annual consumption of seafood increased 95%. Although capture fisheries depend on wild stocks, aquaculture production is done under controlled circumstances, allowing for the production volume to be increased at any time. Therefore, a shift in the production source is foreseen in the near future for seafood.

October 12, 2017

As reported in the most recent EUMOFA monthly highlights, under the article \"Consumption of animal protein: the place of fish,\" population growth has been influencing the demand for additional food sources. Fish protein consumption, especially from aquaculture, is growing globally, especially in lesser-developed countries. From 1961 to 2013, global annual consumption of seafood increased 95%.

17% of animal protein consumed originated from fish in 2015. Daily seafood consumption of 5.2 g/capita ranked third in animal protein sources behind meat at 14.5 g/capita, and milk (excluding butter) at 8.2 g/capita.

EU consumption of fish protein increased by 61% from 1961 to 2013. The chart below illustrates changes in EU consumption of selected animal protein sources (source FAO).

Although capture fisheries depend on wild stocks, aquaculture production is done under controlled circumstances, allowing for the production volume to be increased at any time. Therefore, a shift in the production source is foreseen in the near future for seafood: FAO estimate that the share of global aquaculture production will increase from 44% to 56% between 2015 and 2025, while capture fisheries will decrease from 52% to 48%.

It is expected that Asian countries such as China and Vietnam will continue to increase their aquaculture production significantly during the period, but that Norway too will contribute. The economic recovery in Japan, Europe, and North America is expected to lead to an increase in seafood consumption. However, developed countries’ share of imports is projected to decrease from 54% in 2015 to 53% in 2025. This is mainly because developing countries will increase their imports of raw materials to be processed and subsequently re-exported in response to stagnating domestic fishery production in developed countries.

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