Fishery and aquaculture have always helped to feed the global population. However, concerns over the sustainability of industrial fishing are increasingly shaping the discussion in this agricultural sector. Overfishing threatens the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people who live from fishing. The South China Sea is a prime example of a region that is threatened by overfishing and a possible fish stock collapse.
The two biggest fishing nations, China and Indonesia, as well as their neighbors, have been in a protracted political struggle over fishing rights in the area and adjacent territories. While fishing fleets spread out to reach more remote fishing grounds, the use of aquaculture is becoming more widespread, especially in Asia. It is increasingly viewed as a more sustainable alternative that can help secure the food supply of a growing global population.
Global fish production was estimated to reach a volume of 184.6 million metric tons by 2022. In the past decade production has grown by roughly 30 million metric tons. This includes both aquaculture production as well as wild fishing.
In 2022, global fish production from aquaculture came to an estimated 92 million metric tons. It came close to the 92.1 million tons produced by fishing.
The gap between the output of wild fish catching and fish farming, whether on the high seas or on land, has become ever closer. In the last decade alone, aquaculture output has grown by almost 30 million tons. If this trend continues, farmed fish will soon replace caught fish as the number one source of fish.
In 2020, China was the leading producer of captured fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other sea life. China caught fish and other seafood with a volume of 11.8 million metric tons. It caught more than twice as much as the next biggest fish catching nation, Indonesia.
Including Russia, six of the leading ten fishing nations of the world were Asian nations. In aquaculture the leading position of Asian nations is even more pronounced.
The fisheries and aquaculture category offers data on the commercial business of catching fish and other aquatic animals. Commercial fishing involves the harvesting of wild fish. In contrast, aquaculture is the cultivation and harvesting of aquatic populations under controlled conditions for human consumption, in both fresh and saltwater.
Within this sector, Statista provides information about the fishery operations and trade of different nations. Data coverage includes overviews of various fish species landings, production values, industry revenues, and the final fishery products.