ANALYSIS - As many countries are seeing increases in their agricultural exports or increases in fish production, a new report from the UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers has shown that half of all food produced in the world is wasted every year, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
In a new report from AnimalFrontiers, James Muir, a professor from the University of Stirling, UK, noted that global fish consumption has increased rapidly over the last 50 years, with most of the increase occuring in developed countries in North America, Europe and Oceania.
Outlining the importance of fish in the human diet, Mr Muir said the trend is likely to continue. According to experts, the world population will grow from 7.1 million today to 9 million in 2050. Mr Muir writes that the aquaculture industry will have to double or triple production to meet demand.
Despite the increased need for fish, a report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK, has shown that around 50 per cent of all the food produced in the world is wasted due to inadequate infrastructure and storage facilities, overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free offers and consumers demanding cosmetically perfect food, to name a few.
The report ‘Global Food Waste Not Want Not' is therefore trying to raise awareness of this waste issue whilst still trying to feed a growing world population. The report suggests that the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) works with the international engineering community to ensure governments of developed nations put in place programmes that transfer engineering knowledge, design know-how, and suitable technology to newly developing countries. This will help improve produce handling in the harvest, and immediate post-harvest stages of food production.
Whilst the ammount of waste is rising, fisheries production and exports are continuing to rise. The Indonesian Fishery and Marine Ministry has forecast that fishery exports will rise to $5 billion in 2013 from $3.28 billion last year.
In India, local newspaper BusinessStandard reported that shrimp aquaculture production is expected to increase five-fold following the expansion of an Aquatic Quarantine Facility in Chennai.
The Ukraine is also experiencing an increase in its agricultural and fisheries exports. Last year saw agricultural exports increasing by nearly 40 per cent, reaching $17 billion, according to the Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Prysyazhnyuk.