Indisputably, China is a major global influencer. Like many other sectors, the current and future dynamics of fisheries and aquaculture are significantly affected by what happens in the country. China’s share of the world’s fish production rose from 6% in 1980 to 35% in 2012. It is also now the world’s top exporter of fish, with 30% of the global export market, and the third largest importer after the United States and Japan. Fish consumption in China has also increased dramatically, from about 5kg/person/year in 1980 to about 35kg in 2010 1.
Venturing into tilapia production in El Minya, Upper Egypt. Photo by Jens Peter Tang Dalsgaard.
If we are to meet the world’s demand and need for fish, aquaculture production must rise. But for this to happen at scale, greater private sector investment will be needed, especially to support the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in developing countries. This will increase fish supply, help stimulate rural development, and increase economic opportunity for the poor.