Fish Farms to Produce Two-Thirds of Global Supply by 2030
Aquaculture—or fish farming—will provide close to two thirds of global food fish consumption by 2030 as catches from wild capture fisheries level off and demand from an emerging global middle class, especially in China, substantially increases.
These are among the key findings of Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture—a collaboration between the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), released on Wednesday. The report highlights the extent of global trade in seafood which tends to flow heavily from developing to developed countries.
According to the FAO, at present 38 percent of all fish produced in the world is exported and in value terms, more than two-thirds of fishery exports by developing countries are directed to developed countries. The Fish to 2030 report finds that a major and growing market for fish is coming from China which is projected to account for 38 percent of global consumption of food fish by 2030. China and many other nations are increasing their investments in aquaculture to help meet this growing demand.
Asia—including South Asia, South-East Asia, China and Japan—is projected to make up 70 percent of global fish consumption by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, is expected to see a per capita fish consumption decline of one percent per year from 2010 to 2030 but, due to rapid population growth of 2.3 percent in the same period, the region’s total fish consumption will grow by 30 percent overall.
The report predicts that 62 percent of food fish will come from aquaculture by 2030 with the fastest supply growth likely to come from tilapia, carp and catfish. Global tilapia production is expected to almost double from 4.3 million tons to 7.3 million tons a year between 2010 and 2030.
“The fast-moving nature of aquaculture is what made this a particularly challenging sector to model—and at the same time, embodies the most exciting aspect of it in terms of future prospects for transformation and technological change,” said one of the report’s authors Siwa Msangi of IFPRI.
“Comparing this study to a similar study we did in 2003, we can see that growth in aquaculture production has been stronger than what we thought.”
The World Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Environmental Services, Juergen Voegele, said the report provides valuable information for developing countries interested in growing their economies through sustainable fish production, though he warns that carefully thought out policies are needed to ensure the resource is sustainably managed.
“Supplying fish sustainably—producing it without depleting productive natural resources and without damaging the precious aquatic environment—is a huge challenge,” Voegele said. “We continue to see excessive and irresponsible harvesting in capture fisheries and in aquaculture, disease outbreaks among other things, have heavily impacted production. If countries can get their resource management right, they will be well placed to benefit from the changing trade environment.”
Fisheries and aquaculture are a vital source of jobs, nutritious food and economic opportunities, especially for small-scale fishing communities. Yet threats from large-scale disease outbreaks in aquaculture and climate change-related impacts could dramatically alter this.
Árni M. Mathiesen, assistant director-general of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, emphasized that unlocking the potential of aquaculture could have long-lasting and positive benefits.
"With the world’s population predicted to increase to 9 billion people by 2050—particularly in areas that have high rates of food insecurity—aquaculture, if responsibly developed and practiced, can make a significant contribution to global food security and economic growth," Mathiesen said.
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Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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