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Aquaculture: Dominating Seafood Supply by 2040

Friday, March 6
3:30-5:00 p.m.
DeVoe Moore Conference Room, Bellamy 150E

The Department of Geography Spring 2020 Colloquium Series presents a talk by Frank Asche, professor at the University of Florida’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems and School of Forest Resources and Conservation.

The global and the U.S. seafood markets have changed significantly during recent decades and are set to change even more profoundly in the next 20 years.

As late as the 1970s, most fish stocks were not managed, most of the seafood supply was highly seasonal or highly processed and was dominated by wild fish. Global and U.S. landings of fish levelled off in the 1980s as most fish stocks were fully or over-exploited, creating strong incentives for alternative sources of supply. This facilitated a rapid development in aquaculture production as well as increased trade.

With a higher degree of control with the production process, aquaculture also transformed supply chains and marketing of seafood, creating challenges as well as opportunities for wild fish. Aquaculture has already overtaken wild fish as a source of seafood for human consumption, and as it is highly limited how much more fish can be landed, virtually all future increases in seafood production will come from aquaculture.

With a preference for wild fish among some consumer groups and several questions with respect to the sustainability of aquaculture, this creates interesting dynamics in the U.S. seafood market, as well as globally where there are strong elements of north-south trade issues.