World - Global Aquaculture Industry
With COVID-19 having a damaging impact on Aquaculture, the market is expected to lose steam before recovering to reach a projected global market size of US$245.1 billion by 2027.
Stringent lockdown measures imposed by governments worldwide to control the spread of the pandemic have cast a shadow on food and nutrition security. Global food supply chains are severely disrupted as governments move swiftly to implement trade restrictions to protect domestic food supplies, a move that has and continues to impact countries dependent on food imports.
Fish and aquatic food value chain is currently witnessing a medley of challenges ranging from shutdown of operations, changing consumer demands, market access and logistical problems, and transportation and border restrictions. Fishing fleets are tied up as part of the restrictions negatively impacting commercial fishing which is a major part of the global food system. Closure of restaurants and hotels, who represent large buyers of fish and seafood, has impacted sales significantly. Lower demand, setbacks to exports and higher costs of operations are chipping off profit margins of fisheries and seafood companies.
Supply chain interruptions caused by disruptions in transportation, trade and labor have halted aquaculture operations. Delayed stocking of aquaculture feed and systems is impacting production with rising prices threatening to be a key fallout. The value chain for fish and fish products is labor intensive and all of these factors discussed above are impacting food security and nutrition for populations that rely on fish for animal protein and essential micronutrients. Unless immediate corrective measures and policy changes are made, seafood a critical part of food security goals, will become less affordable for the poor under the current scenario.
Aquaculture has long benefited from continuous mismanagement of ocean resources, the resulting deterioration in the biological productivity of the ocean to meet surging global demand for seafood, and the ensuing focus on fish farming to bridge the supply demand gap.