Aquaculture produced more than 16 million tons of fish in 1993; capacity has expanded over the past decade at an annual rate of 10 percent by quantity and 14 percent by value. In 1993 fish farms produced 22 percent of all food fish consumed in the world and 90 percent of all oysters sold. The World Bank reports that aquaculture could provide 40 percent of all fish consumed and more than half the value of fish harvested within the next fifteen years.
The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is promoting aquaculture as a valuable source of animal protein for rural communities and also as a source of income and export earnings.
Aquaculture output has grown dramatically, now accounting for almost 20 per cent of all fish and shellfish production (FAO 1997b).