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Effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies


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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Figure 1: Flow chart of capture and farmed fisheries products from aquatic primary production.
Figure 2: Ecological links between intensive fish and shrimp aquaculture and capture fisheries.


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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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Correspondence to Rosamond L. Naylor.

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Naylor, R., Goldburg, R., Primavera, J. et al. Effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies. Nature 405, 1017–1024 (2000).

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