FOOD HARVEST 2020 – POTENTIAL FOR AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine’s own policy guidance document covering the entire food agri and marine food sector, states: “It is widely acknowledged that world seafood demand is expected to continue growing at a pace which cannot be met by wild fishery products. This deficit will likely be met by aquaculture production and the Cawley Report recognised that the aquaculture sector offers substantial potential for increased production of seafood. Ireland’s total aquaculture production is currently fifth highest of the EU-27 member States and the FAO predicts that Ireland will see a 61% increase in aquaculture production by 2030 – the second highest level of all EU MS. This potential is reinforced by the fact that the Irish sector contributes just 38% of the value of total primary production while the world-wide trend is close to half of all fish supplies come from aquaculture and that average worldwide growth in the sector is between 6-8% per annum . It is possible, therefore, that farmed production may increase by 1 Mt by 2030, exceeding 2.1 Mt by 2015 and reaching 2.5 Mt in 2030 from current levels of 1.8mt in 2008. “The aquaculture sector offers sustainable opportunities for employment. The sector must be responsive and adaptable to consumer demands. An analysis of BIM production and employment survey data has shown that every additional 70 tonnes of finfish and shellfish produced generates one full time equivalent job. On this basis the incremental output projected in the National Seafood Programme 2007-2013 of 47,000 tonnes would directly generate 670 FTE jobs and using the ESRI multiplier for aquaculture, a further 845 jobs indirectly, resulting in an increase in 1500 jobs overall in the sector, significantly in the economically disadvantaged and remote coastal regions. At present day prices, the incremental value at first point of sale of this increased production is approximately €160 million. A further uplift of at least an additional € 40 million will arise from simple value added activities to this raw material. The vast bulk of this output (circa 80%) is exported. Because it is a natural resource base activity, there are very small import costs associated with the sector so its value can be almost entirely set on the positive side of the trade balance.”
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
Since the mid-1990s, aquaculture has been the engine driving growth in total fish production as global capture production has levelled off. Its contribution to world total fish production climbed steadily from 20.9 percent in 1995 to 32.4 percent in 2005 and 40.3 percent in 2010. Its contribution to world food fish production for human consumption was 47 percent in 2010 compared with only 9 percent in 1980… The global population is increasing and, in order to maintain at least the current level of per capita consumption of aquatic foods, the world will require an additional 23 million tonnes thereof by 2020. This additional supply will have to come from aquaculture (FAO State of World Fisheries & Aquaculture 2012)
The European Commission
Strategic Guidelines on EU Aquaculture (COM 2013/229) To boost the development of EU aquaculture, the European Commission has issued strategic guidelines, thereby cooperating with Member States and stakeholders in overcoming the challenges facing the sector. The EU aquaculture sector has a significant growth potential and can help to spare overexploited sea resources… …Today, 10% of the EU seafood consumption comes from aquaculture, 25% from EU fisheries and 65% from imports from third countries (including both fisheries and aquaculture); the gap between consumption and production of our capture fisheries has been steadily growing in the last years, and aquaculture can help filling it. Each percentage point of current EU consumption produced internally through aquaculture could help create between 3,000 and 4,000 full-time jobs. European Commission Natura 2000 policy “Guidelines on Aquaculture in Natura 2000 areas” represents the European Commission’s views on the compatibility of marine farming with protection of species and habitats. The Guidelines “illustrate how nature protection provisions can be compatible with sustainable aquaculture development.”