Fishery ecosystem dynamics
Fisheries supply a critically important ecosystem service—providing high quality food resources to a burgeoning human population. Fishery products are among the most widely traded commodities in global markets. Fish and shellfish provide 3.1 billion people with nearly 20 per cent of their annual consumption of animal protein (FAO 2018). Perhaps more significantly, food derived from aquatic sources is particularly high in both micro and macro-nutrients that in the developing world may not be readily available from other sources.
Global consumption of fishery products recently reached an average of 20.3 kg per-person-per-year in 2016, a record high (FAO 2018). Food from aquatic sources is unquestionably a critical element of food security in many parts of the world. Recent total production from inland and marine sources (capture fisheries and aquaculture) reached 171 million mt in 2016. Capture fisheries in freshwater and marine systems accounted for 91 million mt while aquaculture production contributed 80 million mt. Marine fisheries accounted for 87 percent of the total landings from capture fisheries while aquaculture from freshwater systems was dominant (64 percent of the total aquaculture yield). Employment in fisheries and aquaculture is correspondingly important, with an estimated 40.3 million individuals engaged in capture fisheries and 19.3 million people involved in aquaculture enterprises in 2016 (FAO 2018).
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