“Half moon with visible dark spots in the inky blue sky” by Anastasia Polischuk on Unsplash

For every 2 fish you get one comes from aquaculture

What is wrong with this statistic?

We are in 2018 and now we know.

Now we can cite the FAO report — The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture:

In 2016, world fisheries production totalled 90.9 million tonnes.
Aquaculture... ? 80 million tonnes.

Every two years we get to know what the world and fish production was 2 years before.

Looking at the FAO world statistics data is like looking to the night sky — we are looking to the past.

Now we know that two years ago aquaculture contributed 47% to the world seafood production.

In twelve years’ time, it may be that aquaculture will increase to 62%…


But whatever the numbers are and will be, these numbers are world figures.

And the world is a poor model of countries, their people and their habits.

The world is diverse, countries are many — not one.

The production of seafood in Thailand is different from Finland.

One person in Portugal eats as much seafood as 10 people in Hungary.

So let’s dig deeper — watch the video below.

Video showing historical seafood production from FAO Newsroom

You are reading a short series of factual stories about the seafood production system — this is the second of four stories. I use storytelling to facilitate conversations about aquaculture, fisheries, and all the other industries along the way. If you are an educator you can use this site in blended learning — see below learning objectives, suggested activities and further reading.

You can contact me through LinkedIn.

NEXT STORY: The value chain | PREVIOUS STORY: Where do fish come from?

Examples of Learning Objectives for this story

To describe FAO statistical data on captured fisheries and aquaculture


  1. Find out about the fish production in your country and compare it with the world average or your neighbouring countries
  2. Find out what are the top 5 farmed and fished species in your country, if you don’t have aquaculture or fisheries in your country find out about your population consumption habits.
  3. Describe the production of a species of your choice, visit a production site if you have the opportunity. What can be improved? What needs to be improved?

Further Reading

FAO Report — The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016. Contributing to food security and nutrition for all.