Fish farming can feed most of world – report

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg

AQUACULTURE has the potential to feed almost two thirds of the world’s population, according to a new report from the United Nations.

The report, from the UN Marine Panel, says it is possible to produce at least six times more seafood than we are getting today.

Because of pressure on global wild fish stocks, most of that increase will have to come from aquaculture.

The UN panel, which included 14 heads of government, was chaired by Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway, the world’s largest salmon farming country.

The findings were presented at a UN conference in Rome last week and the report is the first of 16 expert surveys submitted before the UN maritime conference in June next year.

The researchers behind the report believe that aquaculture can grow sharply if the industry uses insects and vegetables instead of wild fish as food for farmed fish.

Among other things, the report highlights salmon breeders who have increasingly replaced wild fish with soy in the salmon feed.

The FAO director general, Qu Dongyu, said: ‘We need more political will and more resources to make this happen.

‘Let us not leave any region of the ocean behind in our sustainability quest. If we focus our science, our innovation spirit, our technologies, we will secure and protect one of the oldest and most undervalued food industries. We need to aim big and do concrete things.’

Norway’s seafood minister, Harald T. Nesvik, who was at the launch, said the report stressed that any growth in aquaculture should have the least possible impact on the environment, so it was important that future research and development should concentrate on that.