News Releases

Global seafood demand out paces supply

By Linda Hiemstra, on behalf of Comox Valley Economic Development

June 1, 2016

Comox Valley, BC: Around the world, over three billion people eat seafood as a regular part of their diet and this number has been increasing every year since 2000.

The consumption of seafood is rising at a faster pace than beef, pork and poultry, driven by an expanding and increasingly prosperous global population that recognizes the health benefits of eating seafood. The per capita fish consumption is projected to increase from 17.2kg per person annually in 2010 to 18.2kg in 2030.

In a 2013 report, the World Bank stated that the total consumption of seafood is expected to grow by 36% from 2006 to 2030 and creating a potential shortfall of up to 78 million tonnes.

A ready market is good news for BC producers but what is driving this huge increase in seafood demand?

Increased Population

The world population is expected to increase to 9.7 billion by 2050 making another 2 billion people to feed.  The total seafood supply has been growing 3.6% per year since 1961 while the world’s population has been expanding at 1.8% per year.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the impact of this growing global population will increase the demand for seafood consumption by 70% by 2050.

Greater Affluence

According to the World Bank, the demand for fish products is also driven by higher income levels. A growing middle class will have more money to spend on higher priced food items. China and India, areas of greatest expected population growth, are also projected to have the highest income growth. Between 2010 and 2030, per-capita income in China and India is expected to almost triple and double respectively.

Health Consciousness

Seafood is recognized as an important source of proteins and nutrients that are key components of a healthy diet. Dietary recommendations often include an increased consumption of seafood sourced protein. Salmon especially are considered to be healthy due to the high content of protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Seafood Contribution to Dietary Protein

Currently, seafood provides 16% of all animal protein consumed globally and this will increase as consumers with rising incomes seek higher value seafood and as aquaculture steps up to meet the increasing demand. The US and Canadian seafood markets alone are projected to grow by 34% during the 2010-2030 period.

Where will the seafood come from?

Global production for 2030 is projected at 93.4 million tonnes for capture fisheries and 95.7 tonnes for aquaculture for 189.1 million tonnes total. This projection includes an increase in aquaculture production of 62% in 20 years plus an increase of 4% from wild harvest.

Important for BC, a major exporter of seafood, production is not equal throughout the globe and international trade will play an increasingly important role in balancing the supply and demand. Global seafood trade is expected to increase up to 40% from 2010 to 2030 and supply of high-value species (shrimp, salmon, and eel and sturgeon) is expected to grow by 50-60%.

BC producers provide some of the highest quality seafood in the world and as the overall demand for seafood grows the markets for BC products will also expand.

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Media Contact:

Lara Greasley
Marketing & Communications Manager
Office: 250-334-2427  Ext: 233