Shrimp farming. (Photo: Conapesca)
Outstanding aquaculture growth experienced in Latin America
Tuesday, March 01, 2016, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
Aquaculture is experiencing a remarkable growth in South America and in Central America, where there has been an increase in farmed products, a fact that poses new challenges and even transforms the traditional diet, according to FAO.
"Much of the dynamism of the fisheries sector is due to aquaculture, whose production has tripled up to 78 million tonnes in the last 20 years, becoming the food production sector with the fastest growth in the world," stated the FAO.
Aquaculture in Latin America has grown substantially over the last 10 years. It employs over 200,000 people directly and some 500,000 indirectly.
"Ten years ago it was unthinkable," said an expert from the organization.
Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico contribute to more than 80 per cent of the regional aquaculture volume, although the activity is performed at various scales in virtually all the countries of the region, contributing significantly to food security, employment and foreign exchange earnings, as it is recognized by the agency.
The fisheries sector provides "developing countries more income from exports than those obtained jointly with meat, tobacco, rice and sugar," argues the FAO.
"International fish and fishery product trade has doubled in a decade, reaching USD 144.000 million in 2014. Out of this amount, low-income nations jointly made 78,000 million, more than three times the value of rice global exports," FAO stressed.
According to the figures from the agency specializing in agriculture and food issues, most of the aquaculture activity is in Asia, but the highest aquaculture growth rates have taken place recently in Africa and in South and Central America.
"For the first time in history, more fresh tuna has been shipped to the US than to Japan," stresses the note.
Since 2013, salmon and trout have replaced the shrimp as the most important product traded in terms of value.
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member SAGARPA - Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentacion