Fisheries & Aquaculture

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
184.6m mt
Leading fish producer
China
Global number of fishers and fish farmers
58.5m

Market size

World fish production grows steadily

Global fish production from 2002 to 2022 (in million metric tons)

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Further details: Visit original statistic Global fish production from 2002 to 2022 (in million metric tons)

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.

Global fish production by type
per capita seafood consumption in China
Sales value of salmon market worldwide

Market segments

The rise of aquaculture

World fish production from 2007 to 2023, by fishing and aquaculture (in million metric tons)

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Further details: Visit original statistic World fish production from 2007 to 2023, by fishing and aquaculture (in million metric tons)

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.

Leading aquaculture species in China
Aquaculture prodcution volume in China
Global aquaculture market value forecast

Regional overview

China, the fishing juggernaut

Top 10 fishing nations worldwide in 2020 (in million metric tons)*

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Further details: Visit original statistic Top 10 fishing nations worldwide in 2020 (in million metric tons)*

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.

Wild caught fish and seafood production volume in China
Share of fish production worldwide
Aquaculture production by world region

State of the industry

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  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting in the U.S. 2022 - Industry Insights & Data Analysis
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing in the UK - Industry Insights & Data Analysis
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  • Fishing industry in Japan
  • Fish and seafood industry in the United Kingdom
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing in Europe - Industry Insights and Data Analysis
  • Fish and seafood industry in Scandinavia
  • Fish and seafood industry in Norway

Industry definition

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.

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