Seafood Increasingly Popular And Scarce
Worldwide, 156 million tons of seafood were consumed in 2004, an increase of 9 million tons (6%) over 2003. If recent trends continue, scientists say that all major global fish populations will be “commercially extinct” by the middle of the 21st century.
People around the world ate about 156 million tons of seafood in 2004, the last year for which there is data. This is a relatively large jump from the preceding year, an increase of almost 9 million tons. About half was satisfied by a rebound in certain wild fish populations, with the other half representing continued rapid growth in fish farming. (Since seafood is generally consumed fresh or within a few months of being caught, statistics on consumption and production are nearly identical.)
Since 1950, seafood consumption has jumped almost eight times. This rise in global consumption comes even as seafood becomes scarcer. In 2006, scientists tracking historical changes in the world’s major fish populations estimated that all major fish stocks could be commercially extinct less than 90 percent of their historic levels by the middle of this century if current trends continue.[Abstract excerpted from site]