This past week it was mentioned during class the world's main source of protein comes from fish products, and a significant percentage of that, comes from Aquaculture. Some interesting Protein, Fish and Aquaculture statistics on Google.
Advancing international cooperation for sustainable fishing, improved livelihoods and fair trade policies
Fish is the fastest growing source of food in developing countries. It is the primary source of animal protein for about one-sixth of the world's population -- and often the only source of protein for millions of the world's poor. Fishers in developing countries are among the poorest of the poor and fishing is often the only way out of poverty and malnutrition for them.
Meanwhile, across the world, demand for fish has doubled in the last 50 years, and production would have to double again in the next 25 years to keep up with population growth. The number of people in the world increases every year by 80-90 million, most of them in developing countries. Demand, which has risen at twice the rate of human population growth since 1961, has greatly exceeded supply and the problem is growing.
However, the world's fisheries are in crisis -- the result of unsustainable fishing practices. The problem is huge. More than 25 per cent of the world's fisheries are overexploited, 50 per cent are being fished to their full capacity and 75 per cent need immediate action to freeze or reduce fishing to ensure future supplies. World fishery production is now more than six times that of 1950.
Continued overfishing threatens global food security, impoverishes coastal communities and degrades ecosystems. It also threatens the economies of developing countries, for many of which fish are one of their few exports and foreign currency earner. Over 70 per cent of all fish exports are sourced from developing countries and this proportion is rising.
Protein: Moving Closer to Center Stage
Until recently, protein got little attention. Like a quiet child in a classroom of rowdies, it was often overshadowed by fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins. That's changing. Lately there's been an explosion of interest in protein, largely triggered by high-protein diets for weight loss.
Surprisingly little is known about protein and health. We know that adults need a minimum of 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day to keep from slowly breaking down their own tissues. That's about 9 grams of protein for every 20 pounds. Beyond that, there's relatively little solid information on the ideal amount of protein in the diet, a healthy target for calories contributed by protein, or the best kinds of protein.
Around the world, millions of people don't get enough protein. Protein malnutrition leads to the condition known as kwashiorkor. Lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and death.
State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2002
Of the estimated 89 million tonnes of fish produced in 2000 in the world, excluding China, nearly 71 percent (63 million tonnes) was used for direct human consumption.
The total food fish supply for the world, excluding China, has been growing at a rate of about 2.4 percent per annum since 1961, while the population has been expanding at 1.8 percent per annum. Since the late 1980s, however, population growth outside China has occasionally outpaced the growth of total food fish supply, resulting in a decrease in per capita fish supply from 14.6 kg in 1987 to 13.1 kg in 2000 (Figure 2). For China, the corresponding annual increases are 6.4 percent for food fish supply since 1961 and 1.7 percent for the population (Figure 9). Annual growth was steady until the mid-1980s (at 3.8 percent from 1961 to 1985) and then suddenly trebled over the following 15 years (10.8 percent from 1985 to 2000).