UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Trends in aquaculture production and its role in meeting human protein needs Lin, Zhi Ying


Regional and global trends in aquaculture production, value and price are assessed for the last 30 years relative to trends in wild caught species. Based on data from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for aquaculture production, data is extracted for the first time to address regional (Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia) trends in production focused on the top five aquaculture produced species. Previous uses of the database have largely focused on global production. Of the top five species (whiteleg shrimp Penaeus vannamei, Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, common carp Cyprinus carpio, and giant tiger prawn Penaeus monodon), Asia accounts for most of the global production (with the exception of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar). The central issue considered in this thesis concerns the likelihood and capacity of aquaculture production of fish and shellfish protein for human consumption relative to that of exploited wild stocks. Over the last 30 years or so, aquaculture production has risen exponentially and captures of wild caught fish have now plateaued. The relative status, rearing practices, production and basic economic perspectives of the principle aquaculture produced species globally are compared with wild caught production. The principle finding is that total global aquaculture production will exceed that of commercial wild caught species by about 2015. The significance of this is discussed in terms of current views of environmental (e.g. pollution, disease and habitat degradation) and economic (e.g. production level, farm price, marketing economics, fixed costs (facility and equipment depreciation, loan interest, land lease, fixed wages), variable costs (cost of seed stock, feed, energy)) impacts of aquaculture. Similarly, these issues are considered for the fishing industry (e.g. fishing down the food web, likelihood of expansion of bottom fisheries into deeper waters, reduction of biodiversity, declining global catches). It is concluded that aquaculture is a necessity and that if current trends continue aquaculture production can more than supplement human fish protein needs even in the given context of the rapid growing population, but that in the long term aquaculture production will itself be substantially supplemented by “rebounding” wild fishery production.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International