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Seafood Forecast

Explore the most likely future for the global seafood system within the Blue Economy

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Throughout history, humankind has turned to the ocean for food. To meet the need for seafood, the industry has grown from a traditional fisheries sector deeply ingrained in local coastal cultures into a global value chain covering a multi-faceted range of suppliers, vast trade networks, and increasingly complex production practices. Through the emergence of industrial fisheries and aquaculture, seafood is a key component of the Blue Economy and interlinks with numerous other ocean industries and ecosystem services provided by the ocean itself. 

In this Seafood Forecast, which builds on our Ocean’s Future to 2050 Forecast, we aim to untangle some of the complexities in seafood value chains and provide an objective view of developments to mid-century. We cast light on many of the key questions stakeholders across the seafood value chain are asking themselves, such as: What will be the role of seafood in global food demand? How will marine aquaculture develop to meet seafood demand? What will drive change in seafood trade patterns to 2050? What will be the main sources of feed for marine aquaculture? 

These are some of the highlights: 

  • Seafood demand is on the rise, but there is no indication of large-scale dietary shifts. 
  • Marine aquaculture of finfish will triple, overtaking molluscs as the leading farmed species type. 
  • Seafood trade patterns will change, driven mainly by increasing supply-demand imbalances in capture fisheries. 
  • Aquaculture feed supplies will diversify further, reducing the dependence on marine and agriculture-based ingredients.

An Executive Summary of the Seafood Forecast can be found here