Despite efforts to cull overfishing, the state of the world’s fish population in the oceans has not improved.
That’s according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in its biannual report, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The authors noted that fish is essential to the diet of many populations. It accounts for about 17% of the world’s protein, and 50% of the protein consumed in many the world’s least-developed countries.
And humans have been eating more fish in recent years. That surge in demand led to 31% of ocean life to be overfished in 2013—meaning the populations are being hauled away faster than they can reproduce. About 58.1% of fish stocks are on the cusp of entering the endangered category.
Production is set to increase about 17% by 2025, as compared to 2013 through 2015 levels. But that still won’t keep up with demand. Consumption over the next decade is expected to outpace that, rising 21%.
Though there may be a saving grace.
“Surging demand for fish and fishery products will mainly be met by growth in supply from aquaculture production,” the report stated, referring to farmed fish, a sector that is expected to expand by 39% by 2025.
Aquaculture production will also grow more strongly for freshwater fish—meaning consumers could expect lower prices on shrimp, carp, salmon, bivalves, tilapia, and catfish at their local grocery stores in the future.