Lahsen Ababouch, director of the FAO Economy and Fisheries Policy Department. (Photo: IISD)
Aquaculture considered key to feeding the world in 2030
Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The director of the Economy and Fisheries Policy of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Lahsen Adabouch, stated the development of the aquaculture industry and an increased use of resources are two key elements given the higher global demand for seafood.
According to a study carried out by the FAO, the World Bank and several scientific institutions, in 2030 aquaculture will provide nearly two-thirds of the global fish consumption, compared to the 51 per cent it currently represents.
During the II International Scientific Symposium for Innovation in Marine and Food Industry opened in Vigo, Adabouch noted that 29 per cent of fishing grounds worldwide are overexploited so the sector faces huge losses amounting to USD 50,000 million.
"Asia encompasses 91 per cent of global aquaculture production [China alone accounts for 61 per cent] so the scope for growth of the industry in other parts of the world is large," added the official of the FAO.
Other future challenges include a boost of offshore aquaculture and improvement of feed quality as micronutrients intake.
Adabouch noted that postharvest losses are greater than those produced with the discards of species having little commercial interest.
According to the investigation, about 1,300 million tonnes per year are thrown away because of consumers’ fault or due to deficiencies during storage. Therefore, it is important to "harmonize" and simplify ecolabelling in order to avoid misleading consumers.
During the opening ceremony of the scientific symposium, Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation María Luisa Poncela emphasized the "strength" of the Spanish food sector and the development of the associated technological research.
However, she admitted that one of its "major weaknesses" is a "high fragmentation" in the productive sector, with "many very small businesses."
For his part, the President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijoo, stated the added value that the research will provide will be "decisive" for the sea-industry complex to maintain its competitiveness and market quotas in a market increasingly globalized, EFE agency reports.
To the Galician president, the future strategy should combine growth with job creation and the boost of, environmentally friendly sustainable industry; and make a "clear commitment" for aquaculture.
According to Nuñez Feijoo, it is necessary for third countries’ administrations to commit to practices that regulate and require full food producers and processors guarantees.
Meanwhile, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Shellfish (ANFACO-CECOPESCA), Jesus Alonso Escurís, recognized that the achievement of "traceability" is the biggest challenge to ensure food security.
By Analia Murias