Global production of farmed fish and shellfish has more than doubled in the past 15 years. Many people believe that such growth relieves pressure on ocean fisheries, but the opposite is true for some types of aquaculture. Farming carnivorous species requires large inputs of wild fish for feed. Some aquaculture systems also reduce wild fish supplies through habitat modification, wild seedstock collection and other ecological impacts. On balance, global aquaculture production still adds to world fish supplies; however, if the growing aquaculture industry is to sustain its contribution to world fish supplies, it must reduce wild fish inputs in feed and adopt more ecologically sound management practices.

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We thank M. Williams, W. Falcon, V. Spruill, M. Drew, N. Wada, R. Kautsky, K. Jauncey, C. Tirado, R. Hoguet, R. Tatum and R. Mitchell for comments and assistance, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for funding.

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  1. Stanford University, Institute for International Studies, Encina Hall 400E, Stanford University, Stanford, 94305-6055, California, USA

    • Rosamond L. Naylor
    •  & Harold Mooney
  2. Environmental Defense, 257 Park Avenue South, New York, 10010, New York, USA

    • Rebecca J. Goldburg
  3. Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Tigbauan, 5021, Iloilo , Philippines

    • Jurgenne H. Primavera
  4. Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, S-106 91

    • Nils Kautsky
    • , Carl Folke
    •  & Max Troell
  5. The Beijer Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

    • Nils Kautsky
    • , Carl Folke
    •  & Max Troell
  6. Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK

    • Malcolm C. M. Beveridge
  7. World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street NW, Washington DC, 20037, USA

    • Jason Clay
  8. Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvalles, 97331-2914, Oregon, USA

    • Jane Lubchenco


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