Feeding the multitude

AquaBounty, Charlettotown, PEI

Aquaculture, or the production of aquatic food species in a defined cultivation system (as opposed to simply catching wild animals), now supplies more than 50% of the seafood consumed by humans globally. According to published fisheries statistics, 82% of the world’s wild fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or endangered, while demand for seafood continues to soar. An expanding global population that is projected to reach 9 billion people by 2050 will continue to place consumer pressure on the dwindling fisheries, with much of the growth coming from developing countries where emerging middle classes are seeking higher quality, higher protein diets. Adding to this pressure are the well-documented health benefits of incorporating seafood in our daily diet. Since fish are among the most efficient of food species in converting feed to useful food protein, aquaculture is a likely source of supply for these increasing appetites.

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