By 2050, consumption of Marine and aquatic food may increase by 80%! China has become a net importer of seafood for the first time!


1. Consumption of Marine and aquatic food may increase by 80% by 2050

Recently commissioned by the Blue Food Assessment Team of Experts, the study compiled and analyzed a range of existing data to reveal four key roles that aquatic Marine foods can play in improving the performance and sustainability of the nation's food system. This, in turn, has wider implications for financiers, processors, retailers, development organisations and the fishermen themselves.

Four areas of benefit

The paper, published in the journal Nature and titled "Four Ways Blue Foods can help achieve national Food System ambitions," looks at the potential for blue foods to deliver benefits and improvements at four policy levels :B12 and omega-3 nutrient deficiencies, high rates of cardiovascular disease associated with excessive consumption of red meat, particularly processed meat, High environmental impact, as well as climate adaptation and resilience, to safeguard the contribution of blue food systems to nutrition, economy, livelihoods and culture.

The researchers found that policy makers in countries with high rates of cardiovascular disease, including developed countries in Europe and North America, should focus on improving the production and fishing of blue foods, which could be considered the best alternative to traditional red meat consumption.

At the same time, farming bivalves or pelagic pelagic fish such as sardines and herring is economical to consume and reduces environmental pollution.

It's relevant to everybody

"By further customizing the different parameters of the online tool, decision makers can explore the blue food policies that are most relevant to their national environment and use the document to inspire blue food policies that overcome existing environmental and nutritional challenges," said Jim Leape, co-director of the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, a key partner in the Blue Food Assessment.

The assessment has published research showing that, despite the availability of blue food, 10 per cent or more of the population in 93 countries still faces nutritional deficiencies, and that access to more affordable Marine foods could prevent 166 million micronutrient deficiencies worldwide.

Consumption growth of 80%

The assessment also shows that by 2050, the consumption of Marine and aquatic food, which already supports the livelihoods of 800 million people worldwide, will increase by 80 percent. However, there is still much room for improvement in the opportunities to harness the positive contribution of "blue" foods to healthy and sustainable diets.

2. Norwegian salmon prices have soared, up 37 percent in a month

Norwegian salmon prices rose 18.06 percent in the eighth week of 2023, gaining 18.01 Norwegian kroner ($1.73, 1.82 euros) according to the Nasdaq Salmon Index.

In the seventh week of 2023, prices rose 9.64% to NoK 8.77 (US $0.85, 0.80 euros), with Norwegian salmon averaging NoK 99.81 (US $9.63, 9.08 euros) per kilogram.

Norwegian salmon exporters recently quoted an average price of 117.82 Norwegian kroner ($11.35, 10.63 euros) per kilogram for fresh and unstained premium Atlantic salmon. Overall, the price of Norwegian frozen salmon has increased by nearly 37 percent in the past month.

Prices have risen sharply and exports have fallen markedly

In Norway, the world's largest producer of farmed salmon, there were fewer fish farmed in cages offshore at the end of January than at the same time last year or the year before.

Norwegian farmed salmon totaled about 778,000 tons in January, 1 percent less than a year earlier and 6 percent less than in 2021. But the figure was higher than in January 2020, when it reached 756,000 tonnes.

Norwegian salmon exports in January 2023 were 105,000 tonnes, down 6% from the same month last year, while exports of 8.9 billion NoK (715.1 million NoK) increased by 25%.

In February, Norwegian salmon farmers released 12 million young salmon, 32 percent fewer than in January 2022. As of January 31, 437 million salmon were in the fishery. While numbers are up 2 per cent from January last year, the average weight per fish is 3 per cent lower. At the same time, farming costs have risen, with 123 tonnes of feed consumed in January, 5% more than in the first month of last year.

Biomass statistics of farmed salmon in Norway

In terms of exports, Norway exported 22,283 tonnes of salmon in the seventh week, 15.5% less than the same period last year. So far this year, Norway has exported 165,000 tonnes, 9.9 percent less than in the first seven weeks of last year.

3. Rabobank: China has become a net importer of seafood for the first time

Gorjan Nikolik, Chief seafood Analyst at Rabobank, shared data on the global seafood import and export trade during the North Atlantic Seafood Forum (NASF). In 2022, China became a net importer of seafood for the first time, with Norway taking over as the number one net exporter.

"China has been a net exporter of seafood for the past 20 years," Nikolik said. In 2022 they joined other big economies in no longer being a net exporter. How will China's seafood import and export trade develop in the future? I think the answer is obvious: China's population is aging and the Chinese market is becoming more and more dependent on imports."

Nikolik noted that the upheaval in the Chinese market means the global seafood trade landscape has taken on a new look, and the list of net exporters in 2022 has a very different feel than the pre-pandemic lineup in 2019.

Norway, which has been in second place for more than a decade, vaulted into the top spot for the first time last year with net exports of $14.5 billion. Ecuador's net exports are also growing fast, from $2.8 billion to $9.2 billion in a decade. "Norway is number one right now, but will Ecuador overtake Norway in the next 10 or 20 years, or by 2030? You know, Ecuador's white shrimp production has increased by an order of magnitude, whereas Norway's export growth can only be based on higher salmon prices."

"The Ecuadorian industry expects another double-digit increase in white shrimp production this year. What does the future hold? Maybe next year or a few years from now, we'll see a whole new market situation. Let's wait and see." "Nikolik said.

Nikolik noted that exports of salmon and shrimp have bucked the trend during the COVID-19 pandemic, with global trade between the two now exceeding $25 billion. The trade volume of shrimp sector increased by 6.2 percent in 2022 and 19.8 percent in 2021. The volume of salmon trade increased by 11.5 percent in 2022 and 21.3 percent in 2021.

Nikolik explained that the increase in shrimp trade was driven by Ecuadorian production, and behind the increase in salmon trade was a sharp rise in prices over the past two years. If the growth rate of shrimp and salmon is maintained, according to Rabobank, trade between the two will overtake poultry and pork by 2030, but fall far short of beef's $55 billion market.

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