OECD warns on fishing capacity as Asia share grows

October 14, 2015
China's per capita annual seafood consumption rose some 40 percent between 2000 and 2011 to 14.62 kilos, the OECD reports
China's per capita annual seafood consumption rose some 40 percent between 2000 and 2011 to 14.62 kilos, the OECD reports

Years of overfishing have cut OECD countries' productive capacity while Chinese-led consumption growth has shifted production focus to Asia, a report by the Paris-based organisation said Wednesday.

The fisheries trade share for the 34 member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has shrunk, while Asia's has spiked on soaring Chinese demand, a new OECD report said.

Overall OECD fisheries production has slumped by two-fifths since 1988 because overfishing has squeezed productive capacity, it said.

The OECD added that last year was the first time that aquaculture production—the breeding of fish for harvesting—became a bigger source of for consumers than capture fisheries with an annual growth rate of seven percent.

In the meantime, Asia has become "the centre of gravity of fish production, consumption and trade", the report said.

"The solution to restarting growth in OECD fisheries is improved management," said Roger Martini, the organisation's senior fisheries analyst.

"This is an area where countries have been making some progress, but much more remains to be done before all OECD fish stocks are fully recovered."

The grouping of the world's most advanced economies includes only four states in the Asia-Pacific region—Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

The organisation noted that China and Indonesia account between them for nearly a quarter of global fish harvests.

Per capita annual consumption in China rose some 40 percent between 2000 and 2011 to 14.62 kilos (32.16 pounds).

The OECD added that "China is now simultaneously the largest marine producer, the largest aquaculture producer and the largest net exporter of fish products."

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