The potential of Aquaculture in the Caribbean

Over the past 30 years, aquaculture has become the fastest-growing food-producing sector in the world. Aquaculture has the potential to make a substantial contribution to the economic and social development of the Caribbean. The recently published ‘Study on the Potential of Fish Farming in the Caribbean’ by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) in partnership with CTA presents a way forward for the aquaculture industry in the region.

Aquaculture earns billions of dollars throughout the world. The rapid growth in aquaculture is expected to continue through to the year 2050, increasing to fill the deficit in fish production for food. The world’s population is continuing to grow, and so is the demand for fish. But global production from traditional fishing has peaked because most the familiar fish stocks are either fully exploited or in decline (see figure).

“In the 1970s, most of the seafood we consumed was harvested from wild marine stocks with aquaculture contributing just three per cent of total fish production,” said Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM in a recent interview. “Today, aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector in the world.”