100 Billion Dollar Baby: Aquaculture keeps growing

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By Milthon Lujan

From 2010 to 2016, the aquaculture industry increased its value by USD 100bn, reaching USD 232bn. The growth is mainly driven by crustacean and freshwater fish farming in developing economies, particularly in Asia, as well as Atlantic salmon in the West. With improved biosecurity, new husbandry technologies, and novel feed ingredients, further growth of USD 100bn can be achieved in less than a decade.

Aquaculture has grown by nearly USD 100bn in six years

Aquaculture is the fastest-growing protein-producing industry. According to the latest FAO statistics, its total value reached USD 232bn in 2016 – represented by a CAGR of 10% for the last six years (2010-2016 ) (see Figure 1). Poultry and beef grew by 8% and 6%, respectively, in the same period. In volume terms, total production included 80m tonnes of fish and shellfish. Although the growth rate was slightly higher for the period 2000 to 2010 (11% CAGR), in the last six years, aquaculture increased its value by another USD 93bn. As a comparison: before 2010, it took 15 years to grow by USD 94 billion.

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Source: Rabobank

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