Farming the ocean is crucial to meeting the world’s food requirements. Aquaculture’s share of global seafood consumption was more than 50% in 2010 (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).
At the current rate of seafood consumption (16 Kg per year – on a per capita basis), many are projecting a shortfall of 50-80 million tonnes of food fish by 2030. If capture volumes remain stable, the assumption is that the aquaculture industry (globally) will make up the shortfall. This means that aquaculture outputs could double over the next 25 years. (This does not take into account farming to produce supplements.)
Factors to Consider:
In global terms, British Columbia’s contribution to the production of farmed shellfish is small. British Columbia ranks as the 12th largest producer of Pacific Oysters, but only produces 0.12% of the value. Virtually the entire commercial harvest of British Columbia oysters is farmed and the commercial harvest of our farmed clams is steadily rising.
While production values increase, shellfish farming has not come anywhere near reaching its potential as a key economic driver for coastal communities in British Columbia. We have room to grow.