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Ocean's future to 2050

A sectoral and regional forecast of the Blue Economy


We forecast that global marine aquaculture production approaches capture fisheries by mid-century. 

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Capture fisheries is already at or beyond the limits of what can be sustainably harvested, depending on the species considered. This puts the total output of the marine seafood industry at around 168 Mt/year if unreported fisheries catch is included. Overfishing and climate change influence biomass levels and catch potential worldwide.  

We forecast a decrease in overall capture fisheries between 2018 and 2050 despite a forecasted increase in demand for marine proteins. Catch estimations include both reported catch and unreported catch from artisanal and industrial fisheries.  

We forecast total annual catch to be 95 Mt by mid-century; 77 Mt reported and 18 Mt unreported.Total annual catch declines from an estimated 102 Mt in 2018. The share of unreported catch in total catch will reduce from 22% in 2018 to 19% in 2050.  

Our forecasted catch exceeds the maximum sustainable yield of marine capture fisheries estimated at 89 Mt in 2050. This stresses the need for optimal fisheries management as highlighted by the SDG 14 target to ‘effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, IUU and destructive fishing practices’. Our forecasted trajectory shows that global efforts are falling short of meeting this goal.    

Read more about DNV’s Offshore Aquaculture Forecast.

Dive deeper: download the full Ocean's Future to 2050 report

PDF, 104 pages