Global Aquaculture Producers And Production

Aquaculture production around the world grew at an average annual rate of 9.6% for the period 1984 through 1995 (3). In 1995, total production approached 28 million metric tons (3). Production jumped to 34.11 million metric tons in 1996 (6). A breakdown by type of organisms grown is presented in Table 1 for each year. The total value of the 1995 aquaculture crop exceeded $42 billion (3) and rose to $46.5 billion in 1996 (6).

The People's Republic of China is far and away the world's largest producer of aquaculture species. In 1995, production in China exceeded 17.5 million metric tons. India, in second place, produced slightly over 1.6 million metric tons, or less than 10% of China's production (3). In 1996, China's production exceeded 23 million metric tons, with India climbing modestly to 1.8 million metric tons (6). The top 20 aquaculture-producing nations during 1995 and 1996, in descending order, are shown in Table 2. The same countries are on both lists, but some changes in ranking are apparent. Most notable, perhaps, is the movement of Chile from ranking 16 to 12, reflecting the emphasis that country has been placing on aquaculture, particularly in the rearing of salmon.

U.S. aquaculture production actually dropped from 1995 to 1996 by 4.9%, and the United States dropped by one position in the top 20 from eighth to ninth (Table 2).

Table 1. Percentages of Total World Aquaculture Crop (by Weight) Associated with Different Types of Organisms during 1995 and 1996

Type of organism

1995 (%)

1996 (%)

Aquatic plants

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