A tiny fraction of oceans could satisfy the world’s fish demand

According to United Nations estimates, about 57 percent of fish stocks are exploited — meaning they can bear no more fishing without population decline — and 30 percent are over-exploited, depleted or recovering.

A solution may be on the horizon. According to a study published today and co-authored by Peter Kareiva, director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, ocean-farmed fish and seafood — or aquaculture — has the potential to satisfy global demand by using a tiny fraction of oceans. Freshwater fish farms have been around for a long time, but off-shore operations are a more recent development.

Drawing on the findings of the paper, which maps the global potential of aquaculture, a mere 0.025 percent of the world’s oceans could satisfy global demand for fish, which is at an all-time high. An area of prime locations the size of Lake Michigan could theoretically provide as much as all of the world’s wild-caught fisheries combined…

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