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The global aquaculture market has been projected to hit 155 million tons by 2018, driven primarily by the rapidly expanding global population, the growing awareness surrounding the health benefits of fish products, and the shrinking wild capture market.
Furthermore, the aquaculture industry is expected to reap benefits from the various developmental activities being undertaken across countries, focusing on increasing their fish supply through aquaculture.
Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish.
Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, algaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming.
Demand for fish and related products are increasing worldwide and are projected to grow with the increasing population. Approximately one billion people worldwide depend on fish as their primary source of animal protein, particularly in the coastal areas. The ever-growing population, coupled with a shift in food habits have resulted in increased demand for fish and related products.
82% of world fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or endangered, while demand for fish protein is exploding. With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, demand for critical sources of protein continues to outstrip supply.
Aquaculture provides a means of partially meeting this demand, but we cannot expect to feed a burgeoning global population without employing every tool at our disposal, including enhancing aquaculture productivity through genetic engineering.
China overwhelmingly dominates the global aquaculture market in terms of output. They report a total output which is double that of the rest of the world put together.
China is fast becoming a major producer, exporter, processor, and importer of aquaculture products with fast economic growth, increasing levels of disposable income, and rising consumption of seafood.
The Chinese Government introduced encouraging policies to expand aquaculture output, and for enhanced stability of the industry by providing necessary infrastructure and marketing support and tax benefits to attract new entrants.
For more information on the global aquaculture market, see the latest research: Global Aquaculture Market
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