Global demand for fish expected to almost double by 2050

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Catch of sardines

Catch of sardines on a fishnet, Furadouro beach, Portugal

Tobias Weber / Alamy Stock Photo

The world’s hunger for fish is expected to almost double by 2050 due to growing affluence and populations, according to an assessment that anticipates the demand being fed by a big rise in farmed seafood.

Global fish consumption has already doubled since 1998, but a team led by Rosamond Naylor at Stanford University in California projects a further 80 per cent increase by mid-century. Whether that proves good or bad for the environment and nutrition will rest on what types of fish people choose to eat, the researchers say.

“We talk about fish as a monolithic thing, but actually it’s highly diverse,” says Naylor’s colleague, Beatrice Crona at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden.

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