The contribution of aquaculture systems to global aquaculture production

Marc Verdegem*, Alejandro H. Buschmann, U. Win Latt, Anne J. T. Dalsgaard, Alessandro Lovatelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

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Since 2000, aquaculture became well-integrated into the global food system. Aquaculture systems are highly diverse, producing globally equal amounts of fed and extractive species. In Asia and Africa, inland aquaculture provides the bulk of aquaculture production, while in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania, marine aquaculture dominates. The realized growth of annual production since 2000 is due to intensification, the use of more and better feeds, improved production management, and increased attention to biosecurity. Fed and extractive aquaculture, both need to pay more attention to scaling, site selection, and the health of the wider production environment. In terms of land use, aquaculture is more efficient than terrestrial animal production. Still, water use remains a challenge. More attention should be given to water recycling in land-based systems, reducing water consumption and facilitating nutrient recovery and reuse. Future development should focus on making aquaculture climate neutral and on reducing environmental impacts, both inland and at sea. More attention must be given to making aquaculture an important part of local food systems on all continents, as is the case in Asia today. Integration of aquaculture into local nutrition-sensitive, circular, and sustainable food systems should become the major driver for future aquaculture system development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the World Aquaculture Society
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)206-250
Number of pages45
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Aquaculture production
  • Aquaculture systems
  • Development priorities
  • Fed aquaculture
  • Sustainable practices


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