Aquaculture history

The history of aquaculture started in China around 3000 BC. Artificial lakes contained specific fish such as carp when the water level was lowered after river floods. Their eggs were then fed with nymphs and excrement of silkworms used for silk production.

The romans were quite skilled at breeding fish in ponds. In Europe, fish was rare and therefore expensive and became common in monasteries in the middle ages. 19th century improvements in transportation made fish readily available and inexpensive, even far from the seas, leading to a decline in aquaculture.

The current boom began in the 1960s after overfishing caused prices to rise again. Today, commercial aquaculture exists on a considerable scale that was previously unheard of, generating controversy because of its effects on public waters beyond enclosure boundaries.

Aquaculture production numbers

Global fish production reached 171 million tons in 2016, with aquaculture accounting for 47% of the total and 53% if uses are not excluded. The total value of the first sale of fisheries and aquaculture production in 2016 was estimated at 362 billion USD. And including 232 billion USD from aquaculture production. With capture fishery production relatively stable since the late 1980s, aquaculture has been responsible for the impressive and continued growth in the supply of fish for human consumption.

Global aquacultureproduction in 2016 included:

  • 80.0 million tons of food fish
  • 30.1 million tons of aquatic plants
  • As well as 37,900 tons of non-food products.

Farmed food fish production includes:

  • 54.1 million tons of fish,
  • 17.1 million tons of shellfish
  • 7.9 million tons of shellfish
  • 938,500 tonnes of other aquatic animals

China, because of its history of aquaculture, has produced more than the rest of the world every year since 1991 in 2016. Other top producers in 2016 were India, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Bangladesh, Egypt and Norway.

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