Aquaculture

Aquatic food production has transformed from being primarily based on capture of wild fish to culture of over 500 farmed species globally. Given the strong likelihood that seafood landings will remain constant in capture fisheries, aquaculture will continue to bridge the gap between seafood supply and demand, whilst reducing pressure on wild fisheries.

In 2014 total world aquaculture production increased to 101 million tonnes, with a value of US$165.8 billion. A significant milestone was reached in 2014 when aquaculture's contribution to global fish supply for human consumption overtook that of wild-caught fish for the first time.

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food supply sector in the world, and for global fish availability to meet projected demand, it has been estimated that aquaculture production will need to more than double by mid-century.

To support UK industry we have the Domestic Aquaculture Strategy Programme through which we aim to identify viable, sustainable and effective opportunities to address key issues and constraints; helping to fulfil our high-level objectives to inform decisions through readily available data, enhance industry reputation, and promote seafood consumption.

We also provide market and regulation information, support organisations and groups who work with the sector, and have a small team of aquaculture experts on hand to answer specific enquiries. We also run the Seafish Domestic Aquaculture Advisory Committee and the Aquaculture Common Issues Group.  

Download the Seafish Guide to Aquaculture here.

Contacts

We have a small team of experts on hand to answer specific enquiries.

  • For help with domestic aquaculture strategy contact Lee Cocker.
  • For advice on training courses, qualifications and guidance contact Lee Cooper.
  • For help with advice on offshore training contact Kevin Franklin.
  • For help with fact sheets and industry guidance notes contact Karen Green.
  • For help with enquiries on finfish aquaculture in Scotland and shellfish cultivation contact Craig Burton.
  • For enquiries on regulation contact Mandy Pyke.

Further resources

For further information on the aquaculture sector, please see:

Standards/certification:

Membership organisations:

Devolved administrations and Government bodies:

EU contacts:

Aquaculture groups

Seafish is involved in a number of external aquaculture-related groups and initiatives, and we facilitate two major aquaculture forums - all helping to support aquaculture activities in the UK.

UK Domestic Aquaculture - Reports

The Seafish Domestic Aquaculture Strategy Programme offers aquaculture reports and guides, produced to help increase understanding of the importance, diversity and potential of UK aquaculture.

Aquaculture Regulatory Toolbox for England

England's aquaculture industry is currently made up of a diverse range of enterprises that have mostly remained fairly small scale and close to local markets.

Aquaculture Funding Guides

Seafish's Aquaculture Funding Guidance sheets are a series of datasheets which have been produced to provide information and help the aquaculture industry in finding potential aquaculture funding streams, both European and national.

Aquaculture Responsible Sourcing Guides

Seafish's Aquaculture Responsible Sourcing Guidance sheets are a series of datasheets which have been updated to provide a general introduction and give current information on major farmed species, many of which are important to the UK seafood supply chain, and UK consumers.

Careers and Training in Aquaculture

Those involved in fish and shellfish farming are known as aquaculturists - they breed, rear and harvest various fish and shellfish species for consumption and commercial sale in the UK or for export.

Aquaculture support

EU aquaculture production was 1.28 million tonnes in 2014, with an almost equal split between finfish and shellfish production. EU aquaculture accounts for nearly 20% of fish production and directly employs some 85,000 people. The UK aquaculture sector is worth some £800 million.

Species and sites

Choosing the correct species and sites are some of the most crucial decisions a culturist must make.