Saturday, Feb 28th 2015

World Bank says fish offers future food security

Monday, February 10, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY RICHARD MUNGAI

Aquaculture and fisheries will provide future food security which will be critical in feeding the growing population beyond 2030, a World Bank study shows.

The study titled ‘Fish To 2030; Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture’ says the global population will hit nine billion by 2050 and food producing sectors like aquaculture will be vital in providing nutrition, as crops will not be sufficient because the increasing population will occupy much of the land meant for agriculture.

“The world is getting more crowded in the face of global climate change, hence it is required to change the ways of conducting economic activities and fisheries and aquaculture can address these challenges as they offer a large potential of rapidly increasing fish supply,” the study says. According to the study, during the last three decades, seafood production increased from 69 million tonnes to 93 million tonnes, while at the same time world aquaculture production increased from five million tons to 63 million tonnes.

“Currently observed trends projects that the total fish supply will increase from the current 154 million tonnes to 186 million tonnes in 2030,” the study said. However, the study states that per capita fish consumption in Sub Saharan Africa will decline at an annual rate of one per cent towards 2030.

The study adds that the current prices in the market signal underlying imbalances in fish supply from developing countries and demand in the developed countries. “Developing countries are well integrated in the global fish trade and understanding the global links of supply and demand in a given region will be critical in solving these imbalances.”

Fish offers high value animal protein and is low in saturated fats, carbohydrates, and cholesterol and also contains vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, the study says.