Submitted to: Catfish Farmers of Arkansas Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Aquaculture (fish farming) has played an ever-increasing role in providing people with fish, shrimp, and shellfish. Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing sector of global food production and in 2014 totaled 80 million tons valued at $140 billion. The production of food-fish from aquaculture has increased at an average annual growth rate of 9% worldwide from 1980 to 2014. Currently, approximately 55% of the seafood people consume in the U.S. is produced by aquaculture, an increase from almost 0% in 1970. Further, in the coming decades, aquaculture will be required to provide an even larger share. If current projections are realized, human population will grow from its current 7.1 billion people to 9 billion people by 2050. Many areas of the world are subject to malnutrition and hunger which will only be exacerbated by an increase in population. Fish and seafood are highly nutritious, comprised of essential amino acids (protein), fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Approximately 50% of the world’s population (3.5 billion people) rely on fish to supply 20% of their intake of protein. To provide adequate protein to people, aquaculture production must increase. It has been estimated that an increase in meat production of 200 million tons needs to occur if the human population is to have enough protein by 2050. If you project current aquaculture growth to 2050, approximate production will increase by more than 3 times current levels, meaning that if aquaculture can sustainably continue to increase at its previous levels, all of the human population’s protein needs could be supplied by aquaculture. This presentation will highlight the research accomplishments of the Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center and how the facility is important to U.S. and global aquaculture.