up with expected population growth at today’s per capita seafood consumption. Over 120 species of fish are farmed throughout the world, and the diversity of species is nearly matched by the diversity of farming practices used to produce them.
The majority (nearly 90 percent) of fish production from aquafarms occurs in Asia, especially China. China is the only country where aquaculture supplies food for more people than does the country’s capture fishery industry. In 1978, China produced less than 1 million metric tons of fish through aquaculture and 2.5 million metric tons through its capture fishery industry. But in 1997, China produced 20 million metric tons of fish from aquaculture and 15.7 from capture fishery (Fish Farming International, 1998).
China raises a great variety of aquatic animals for human consumption ranging from turtles to crabs to eels. However, production of cyprinids, carp, and related freshwater fish species, which are an important and inexpensive protein source consumed internally, comprise the greatest aquaculture crop in the