For centuries, humanity's need for fish products was supplied by capture fisheries from the abundance of oceans, lakes and rivers, reaching in the 1970 are some 120 million tons per year. Ocean productivity seemed unlimited.
Then, about 40 years ago, ocean productivity began declining, having reached Maximum Sustainable Yield. Recent studies, widely reported in the general and scientific press, clearly show the emergence of a catastrophe.
During the last 50 years, the global spread of commercial fishing, use of sonar and satellites combined with 30 km nets, and reckless fishing practices, have cut by 90% the oceans population of edible fish, from the Blue Marlin fish to staples like cod, Halibut and Tuna. With today’s fishing practices, it would take only 15 years to remove 80-90% of any species that becomes the focus of the fleet’s attention, bringing it to the verge of extinction.
In 2000 and later years, ocean capture fisheries declined to about 92 million tons annually. Countries that used to be self-sufficient and exporters of seafood products are presently net importers.
Meanwhile, World demand for seafood is sky rocketing everywhere. In developed countries due to increase in standard of living and the awareness to health benefits, as well as in less-developed countries, whose population keeps growing? Seafood everywhere is in high demand, and consumer prices keep increasing.
The only way to bridge the gap between reduced capture fisheries output and increased World demand is through aquaculture and fish farming.