Farmed Animal Statistics: World Aquaculture Production

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It is often mentioned that roughly 98% of all farmed animals slaughtered are chickens, and this is true of land-based animals. However, a large and rapidly growing number of fishes are killed annually on fish farms throughout the world that raise a variety of species. The number of individual fishes slaughtered by aquaculture operations is unknown because such "production" is measured in weight, not lives, but it may exceed the number of chickens slaughtered annually. In 2003 the global "total fish production" was more than 132 million metric tons, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This included 42 million metric tons of fish flesh from both inland and marine aquaculture operations; the remaining 90 million metric tons were caught or "captured." China alone is responsible for 70% of the world's aquaculture production. See below for a list of the largest aquaculture countries.

Largest Aquaculture Countries, 2002 / Millions of Tons / % of Total

China / 27,767 / 70%

India / 2,192 / 6%

Indonesia / 914 / 2%

Japan / 828 / 2%

Bangladesh / 787 / 2%

Thailand / 645 / 2%

Norway / 554 / 1%

Chile / 546 / 1%

Vietnam / 519 / 1%

United States / 497 / 1%

Rest of World / 4,550 / 11%

Total / 39,799 / 100%

The majority of fish raised and slaughtered in aquaculture operations are finfish, and nearly half (45% based on weight) are "carps and other cyprinids." See below for a list of the top ten types of aquatic animals farmed globally in 2002, according to the FAO.

Most Farmed Aquatic Animals, 2002 / Millions of Tons / % of Total

Carps and other cyprinids / 16,692 / 45%

Oysters / 4,317 / 12%

Miscellaneous marine molluscs / 3,740 / 10%

Clams, cockles, arkshells / 3,431 / 9%

Salmons, trouts, smelts / 1,799 / 5%

Tilapias and other cichlids / 1,506 / 4%

Mussels / 1,445 / 4%

Miscellaneous marine molluscs / 1,348 / 4%

Shrimps, prawns / 1,293 / 4%

Scallops, pectens / 1,227 / 3%

Total (top 10 only) / 36,798 / 100%

1. "World Review of Fisheries and Aquaculture," FAO Fisheries, 2004

http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=//docrep/007/y5600e/y5600e04.htm

2. "List of Fisheries Databases and Applications," FAO Fisheries, 2005

http://www.fao.org/fi/statist/fisoft/fisoftoc.asp

3. "Global Aquaculture Outlook in the Next Decades (to 2030)," FAO Fisheries, 2004

http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/007/y5648e/y5648e00.htm

4. Download: "FishStat Plus" Software, FAO Fisheries

http://www.fao.org/fi/statist/fisoft/fishplus.asp