The global consumption of fish has hit a record high, reaching an average of 17kg per person, a UN report has shown.
Fisheries and aquaculture supplied the world with about 145m tonnes in 2009, providing about 16% of the population’s animal protein intake.
The findings published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also stressed that the status of global fish stocks had not improved.
It said that about 32% were overexploited, depleted or recovering.
“That there has been no improvement in the status of stocks is a matter of great concern,” said Richard Grainger, one of the report’s authors and FAO senior fish expert.
“The percentage of overexploitation needs to go down, although at least we seem to reaching a plateau,” he observed.
The authors added that it was estimated that the level of overexploitation had increased slightly since 2006, but 15% of the stocks monitored by the FAO were either “underexploited” or “moderately exploited”.
This meant that catches in these regions could increase in order to meet the demand for fish products.
The report also showed that fish continued to be the most-traded food commodity, worth US $102bn (