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Trends that lie ahead for the global fisheries and aquaculture
27.02.23
Hitting the world geopolitical turbulence have significantly affected the global fisheries and aquaculture, making forecasting more difficult and at the same time increasing the value of estimates.

Based on the opinions of fishery industry experts, we highlighted 10 trends that, in our view, could shape the global fishing and aquaculture industries and matter you in 2023.
Trends that lie ahead for the global fisheries and aquaculture
1 Further changes in export-import seafood flows

There is a little doubt that widespread sanctions, imposed on Russia’s seafood export by the United States and some European countries, will remain in force throughout 2023. Given that Russia is one of the largest suppliers of fish and seafood to the global market, it will inevitably have a further impact on the seafood trade triggering the development of new markets and shaking up long-established supply chains.

Recurring pandemic-related restrictions will also likely play the game in seafood trade.

2 Shift to value-added and waste-free production

Many seafood producers and fishing companies believe that future belongs to high value-added products.

That’s why the product portfolio of leading fishing companies and seafood producers is replenished with modern products, for example frozen-at-sea (FAS) pollock fillets and surimi blocked mince.

The current modernization of fishing fleet and onshore fish processing infrastructure in many countries is aimed at fully utilization of catches by producing a wide range of products, including fish fillets, surimi, mince, roe, liver and meal. As a result, high-end seafood production is steadily growing, expanding a range of ready-to-eat and easy-to-prepare seafood items.

3 Pollock to combat food shortages

The world faces a global hunger crisis of unprecedented proportions. In just two years, the number of people facing, or at risk of acute food insecurity has increased from 135 million in 53 pre-pandemic countries to 345 million in 82 countries today.

Meanwhile, pollock is one of the main sources of available wild protein, being the world's second largest harvested species after krill.

Despite the observed decrease in biomass, pollock stocks are in stable conditions. This allowed Russia and the United States, which together provide around 95 percent of the global pollock catch, to increase their national quotas for 2023 and bring the potential overall pollock catch to 3.8 million metric tons.

Stable stocks and large total allowable catches allow pollock to make a serious contribution to providing humans with valuable protein food and reduce the severity of the global hunger crisis.
Implementation of this opportunity may affect the global pollock industry.

4 Overfishing is a driver for harvesting underused aquatic resources

According to experts’ forecasts, the near-critical state of some fish stocks will accelerate harvesting of the underused aquatic species, such as krill, brine shrimp and other crayfish.

In addition, a growing demand for algae will apparently boost programs and start ups for farmed seaweed production.

However, this trend will require more efficient management of fish stocks and increased productivity of catching.

5 Focus on waste-free and sustainable aquaculture

Aquaculture has a great potential to feed the world’s growing population. But its growth must be sustainable, while it has often occurred at the expense of the environment.

Reducing reliance on wild fishmeal through using vegetable-based fish feed, recycling and increasing the value of waste, combating the farmed fish escapes, genetically improving fish for rapid growth and resistance to climate change and diseases, further expansion of land-based controlled farming will apparently shape aquaculture development in 2023.

6 Wild salmon protection and conservation

The importance of salmon extends beyond food value. In the Pacific, salmon is central to the worldview and daily life of indigenous people.

Wild Atlantic salmon is an important icon for the people of the North Atlantic coasts.

Obviously, the issues of protection and conservation of wild salmon will remain relevant both for governments of coastal states and for numerous non-governmental organizations.

This year, we should expect the development of new programs and approaches aimed at restoring and maintaining the healthy wild salmon populations.

7 Whale conservation

Entanglement from fishing gear and marine debris, ship strikes, noise pollution and climate change threaten whale species across the globe.

Comprehensive conservation approach must be undertaken to address this complex issue and sustain the iconic species.

We will likely see new efforts to modify fishing gear, identify areas of high risk of entanglement, and remove abandoned gear from the water, which can decrease the likelihood of large whale entanglement.

8 Restoration of the sturgeon stocks in the Caspian Sea

The degradation of the sturgeon populations in the Caspian basin, which has been clearly manifested since the mid-1980s, continues to cause concern among the Caspian countries and international environmental, trade, and scientific organizations.

Despite all measures taken for restoration and conservation of these valuable species, including suspension by the Caspian countries industrial sturgeon fishing since 2014, artificial reproduction and release of sturgeon fry from fish farms, they haven’t brought expected results.

Therefore, new efforts to develop measures for sturgeon conservation, assessment and management of their stocks, as well as toughening the combat against poaching will remain relevant this year.

9 Strengthening the fight against IUU fishing

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of the greatest threats to ocean health and a significant cause of overfishing, as well as a disadvantage for law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one-fifth of all wild-caught fish is likely to be illegal or unreported.

Obviously, the use of existing tools and the implementation of innovative new technologies to combat IUU fishing, as well as the promotion of strategies to encourage transparency and strengthen international cooperation, will remain a priority this year.

10 Growing impact of global warming on fisheries

According to scientific estimates, rising temperatures of the World Ocean will change the species structure in many fishing areas, influence the abundance, migratory patterns and mortality rates of wild fish stocks.

For example, scientific studies indicate that warmer temperatures can reduce the rate of growth and survival of wild salmon in the Arctic. Not to mention, the Arctic is home to some of the world's largest fish stocks that support valuable commercial fisheries.

There are no guarantees that warmer Arctic seas would be a suitable habitat for the most important fish stocks in the Arctic, like cod and herring. Although, there is an opinion as well that a moderate warming will improve their living conditions.

There are also climate-related challenges ahead for aquaculture. Changes in water temperature, water current and salinity will most likely alter today’s aquaculture.

Climate change will steadily become more pressing, shaping the global fisheries and aquaculture landscape in 2023.

SEAFOOD EXPO EURASIA is a new platform, where fishing and aquaculture companies and fishery-related communities from around the world will have an opportunity to discuss global fisheries development trends and ways to meet current and looming challenges.
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