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FAO Assesses Impacts of Climate Change on Aquaculture

9 November 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released the "World Aquaculture 2010" report, which identifies various external pressures on the sector, including climate change, the global economic crisis, and pandemic diseases. 

The report finds that aquaculture continues to be the fastest-growing animal food producing sector and currently accounts for nearly half (45.6%) of the world's food fish consumption, compared with 33.8% in 2000. It recommends that as the sector further expands, intensifies and diversifies, it should recognize the relevant environmental and social concerns and make conscious efforts to address them in a transparent manner, backed with scientific evidence.

According to FAO, the impacts of climate change on global aquaculture are not yet fully known. These impacts may include: rising seasurface temperatures; sea-level rise; increasing ocean acidification; higher incidence of extreme weather events; increasing risks of transboundary pests and diseases; and altered rainfall patterns and river flows. FAO further notes that experts concluded that the impacts are likely to be both positive and negative. [Publication: World Aquaculture 2010] [FAO Press Release] [UN Press Release]