Fish projections in the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026

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By Milthon Lujan

Rome, Italy.- On Monday 10 July 2017, the OECD Secretary-General and the FAO Director-General officially released the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026, the annual publication presenting projections and related market analysis for major agricultural commodities.


The chapter covering fish and fishery products contains some interesting findings, including:

– Excluding aquatic plants, world fish production is projected to reach 194 million tonnes in 2026, with an overall increase of 26 million tonnes, or 15 percent compared with the base period (average 2014-2026).

– Most of the production growth for fish will concentrated in developing countries, particularly in Asia.

– The main driver of this increase will be aquaculture, for which output is expected to be 34 percent higher in 2026 relative to the base period (average 2014-2026).


– Global aquaculture production is anticipated to exceed the 100 million tonne mark for the first time in 2025 and to reach 102 million tonnes by 2026.

– Aquaculture will continue to be one of the fastest growing food sectors despite its average annual growth rate slowing from 5.3 percent p.a. in the previous decade to 2.3 percent p.a. in the period 2017-2026.

– The bulk of aquaculture production will continue to come from Asian countries, which will account for about 90 percent of total production by 2026. China will remain the dominant producer, accounting for 63 percent of total aquaculture production by 2026.

– Aquaculture production is set to surpass that of capture fisheries (including non-food uses) by 2012. By 2026, aquaculture will account for 53 percent of total fish production and 58 percent of total fish produced for direct human consumption (excluding non-food uses).

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– Despite the increasingly prominent role of aquaculture in total fish supply, the capture sector is expected to remain the primary source of a variety of species and vital for domestic and international food security.

– World food fish consumption is projected to increase by 19 percent (or 29 million tonnes) by 2026 compared with the base period (average 2014-2016).

– Of the 177 million tonnes of fish consumed worldwide in 2026, the lowest consumption is expected in Oceania and Latin America. Asia, meanwhile, will consume more than two-thirds of the total, or 127 million tonnes, of which 56 million tonnes will be consumed outside China. Asia is also expected to continue to account for the majority of consumption growth, accounting for 76 percent of the additional fish consumed by 2026.

– World per capita apparent food fish consumption is projected to reach 21.6 kg in live weight equivalent by 2026, up from an average of 20.3 kg in 2014-16.


– Per capita fish consumption will rise in all continents except in Africa, where population growth will outstrip its increasing food fish supply.

– The prospective decline of African fish food consumption is a concern in terms of food security, as fish plays a key nutritional role in the region by providing very valuable micronutrients and proteins. On average, at present, fish represents about 19 percent of total animal protein intake, rising to more than 50 percent in certain African countries.

– Fish consumption will continue to increase more strongly in developing countries than in developed countries, where the overall slowdown in consumption growth will continue.

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– Fish and fishery products will continue to be widely traded, with about 35 percent of total fishery production expected to be exported in 2026.


– Developing countries will continue to be the primary exporters of fish for human consumption, and their share of world export volume will increase from 67 percent in 2014-16 to 68 percent in 2026. Over the same period, developed countries will reduce their share of world import volume from 53 percent to 52 percent.

– In real terms, fish prices are expected to decrease over the next decade from the record highs attained in 2014.

Related links

The publication, multilingual versions of the executive summary and a tool to compare trade, production, consumption and prices between countries and commodities are accessible through the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook website (

The publication, including former editions, is also available at 

The “Fish and Seafood” snapshot is available at 

Source: FAO – OECD

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