The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

Aquatic foods are increasingly recognized for their key role in food security and nutrition, not just as a source of protein, but also as a unique and extremely diverse provider of essential omega-3 fatty acids and bioavailable micronutrients. Prioritising and better integrating fisheries and aquaculture products in global, regional and national food system strategies and policies should be a vital part of the necessary transformation of our agrifood systems.

The 2022 edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture – Towards Blue Transformation – builds on this narrative by presenting quantitative evidence of the growing role of fisheries and aquaculture in providing food, nutrition and employment. 

This report also highlights further changes needed in the fisheries and aquaculture sector to address the challenges of feeding the world effectively, equitably and sustainably. Its subtitle, Towards Blue Transformation, reflects the acceleration required to achieve a sustainable, inclusive and efficient sector able to meet expectations, the urgent need to integrate sustainably harvested aquatic foods into national food system policies and programmes, and opportunities to contribute to restoring aquatic habitats and biodiversity.

Key Messages

  • Global fisheries and aquaculture production is at a record high and the sector will play an increasingly important role in providing food and nutrition in the future.

  • Aquaculture has great potential to feed and nourish the world’s growing population. But growth must be sustainable

  • The world’s consumption of aquatic foods has increased significantly in recent years and will continue to rise.

  •  Fishery resources continue to decline due to overfishing, pollution, poor management and other factors, but the number of landings from biologically sustainable stocks is on the rise.

  • Reduction of the global fishing fleet size continues, but more needs to be done to minimize overcapacity and ensure sustainability in fishing operations.

  • Aquatic animal production is forecast to grow another 14 percent by 2030. It is vital this growth goes hand in hand with safeguarding ecosystems, reducing pollution, protecting biodiversity and ensuring social equity.

  • Millions of lives and livelihoods are supported by aquatic food systems. Yet, many small-scale producers, especially women, are vulnerable with precarious working conditions. Building their resilience is key to sustainability and equitable development.

  • Aquatic food systems are a powerful solution. Blue Transformation can meet the twin challenges of food security and environmental sustainability.

  • Blue Transformation requires a commitment from the public and private sectors if we are to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed previously favourable trends.

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This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed