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Fish farms may soon supply more than half the world's catch

[ 2011-02-15 11:10]     字号 [] [] []  
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Fish farms may soon supply more than half the world's catch

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.

Traditional fisheries may no longer be the world's most important provider of fish. A new United Nations report shows that fish farming or aquaculture may soon lead fish production.

The Food and Agriculture Organization says aquaculture is growing by a rate of 6.6 percent a year.

Aquaculture now produces 46 percent of the world's supply of fish. That represents a 43 percent increase from 2006. The report also said aquaculture earned more money in 2008 than traditional fisheries.

The FAO headquarters in Rome published the document, "State of the World's Fisheries and Aquaculture."

In aquaculture, fish are raised in tanks or small bodies of water called ponds. They also are raised in cages or nets in oceans, lakes and rivers.

The report says increased aquaculture has helped people around the world eat record amounts of fish. The FAO says each person ate an average of almost 17 kilograms of fish last year.

But the FAO says the current yearly wild-fish harvest of 90 million tons shows no improvement. Decreasing numbers of fish and stronger catch limits have reduced the possibilities for catching wild fish.

The FAO report says about 32 percent of world supplies are overfished, depleted or recovering. It said these supplies of fish need to be urgently rebuilt.

Some scientists have criticized aquaculture. They say the nets and cages permit fish diseases and pests to spread.

Some aquaculture critics doubt that aquaculture can keep growing at the current rate. But Wally Stevens of the trade group Global Aquaculture Alliance says the industry must continue developing to feed growing populations.

Mr. Stevens says a 100 percent increase in fish farming over ten years is necessary to keep providing for people at the current level. He notes that aquaculture creates jobs and wealth, especially for people in coastal areas of China.

The FAO reports that China remains the world's largest fish-producing nation. China produces more than 60 percent of the world's farmed fish.

And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. Our programs are online with transcripts and MP3 files at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Bob Doughty.

aquaculture: the rearing of aquatic animals or the cultivation of aquatic plants for food 水产养殖

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(来源:VOA 编辑:崔旭燕)