Over-fishing to hit capture fisheries globally: FAO

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Kochi | Published: February 22, 2018 3:43:54 AM

Capture fisheries from the sea and inland waters is estimated to stay flat or decline globally due to over fishing, says a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

fisheries, FAO, india, aquaculture, marine waters, fisherfolk, Asia,  fishery production,  fish stocksThe total number of fishing vessels in the world in 2014 is estimated at about 4.6 million, very close to the figure for 2012. (Reuters)

Capture fisheries from the sea and inland waters is estimated to stay flat or decline globally due to over fishing, says a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. The 2016 edition of ‘The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture’ by FAO in February reports that capture fishery production is projected to increase by just 1% through the year 2025 as most of the sea are fully fished and therefore have no potential for increasing production. Declining catch and higher cost of fishing due to increase in input cost are likely to push millions of fisherfolk into misery in countries like India. Fisheries and aquaculture remain important sources of food, nutrition, income and livelihood’s for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

World per capita fish supply reached a new record high of 20 kg in 2014, thanks to vigorous growth in aquaculture, which now provides half of all fish for human consumption, and to a slight improvement in the state of certain fish stocks due to improved fisheries management, the report adds. Global total capture fishery production in 2014 was 93.4 million tonne, of which 81.5 million tonne came from marine waters and 11.9 million tonne from inland waters.

The total number of fishing vessels in the world in 2014 is estimated at about 4.6 million, very close to the figure for 2012. The fleet in Asia was the largest, consisting of 3.5 million vessels and accounting for 75% of the global fleet. FAO reports that starting from 1950, global catches without anchoveta rose until 1988 when they exceeded 78 million tonne. Subsequently, catches levelled off, albeit with some fluctuations, also perhaps reflecting a marked reduction in distant-water fishing activities following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

From 2003 to 2009, total catches remained exceptionally stable, with interannual variations never exceeding 1% in absolute amount. Finally, from 2010 there was slight growth every year until a new maximum was reached in 2014, with global catches excluding anchoveta at 78.4 million tonne.

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