The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture
In September 2015, the United Nations launched the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a beautiful blueprint for global peace and prosperity. In adopting the 2030 Agenda, countries demonstrated a remarkable determination to take bold and transformative steps to shift the world onto a more sustainable and resilient path. However, after 5 years of uneven progress and with less than 10 years to go, and despite progress in many areas, it is clear that action to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. In response, at the SDG summit in September 2019, the United Nations Secretary-General called on all sectors of society to mobilize for a Decade of Action to accelerate the development of sustainable solutions for the world’s biggest challenges – ranging from poverty and inequality to climate change and closing the finance gap.
Twenty-five years after the adoption of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (the Code), the importance of utilizing fisheries and aquaculture resources responsibly is now widely recognized and prioritized. The Code has informed the development of international instruments, policies and programmes to support responsible management efforts globally, regionally and nationally. These efforts have been consolidated and prioritized since 2015 to particularly address, in a coherent and coordinated manner, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development – and other SDGs relevant to fisheries and aquaculture. To this end, the implementation of science-based fisheries and aquaculture management policies, coupled with predictable and transparent regimes for international fish utilization and trade, are widely accepted as minimum substantive criteria for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. To support evidence-based endeavors, this edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture presents updated and verified statistics of the sector, and analyses current and emerging issues and approaches needed to accelerate international efforts to achieve the goal of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
Global fish production is estimated to have reached about 179 million tonnes in 2018. Of the overall total, 156 million tonnes were used for human consumption, equivalent to an estimated annual supply of 20.5 kg per capita. Aquaculture accounted for 46 percent of the total production and 52 percent of fish for human consumption.
Note: At the time of writing (March 2020), the COVID-19 pandemic has affected most countries in the world, with severe impacts on the global economy and the food production and distribution sector, including fisheries and aquaculture. FAO is monitoring the situation closely to assess the overall impact of the pandemic on fisheries and aquaculture production, consumption and trade.