In 2016, world aquaculture production recorded an all-time high of 110 million tonnes (live weight), with a total estimated first-sale value of US$243 billion. Often the single or majority source of species such as Atlantic salmon, sea bass, or warm water prawns purchased by UK seafood buyers, is from aquaculture.
Through aquaculture, our oceans, seas, and increasingly inland waters, hold the potential to contribute significantly to food security for a growing human population. To provide seafood to meet projected global demand it has been estimated that aquaculture will need to more than double by mid-century.
All forms of aquaculture have an impact on the environment. The nature and scale of impacts depend on the type of farm and species involved, and as with other types of farming, the aquaculture industry is reliant upon good stewardship and a respect for the environment for its existence and future.
Through Challenge 1 Key Area 1 as detailed in our Corporate and Annual Plans, we are “supporting growth in aquaculture as an additional source of supply”, and are channelling our efforts through three work areas which aim to:
1. Support initiatives to assist the sector achieve sustainable growth through knowledge sharing and effective collaboration between key stakeholders
2. Provide accurate and accessible information on aquaculture practices to promote public awareness and to inform consumer choice
3. Provide the UK aquaculture sector with information and guidance on interpreting/ adhering to regulations, identifying regulatory challenges and working collaboratively to respond to these