What is something that humans have been doing for almost as long as people have been putting food on the table? While hunting comes to mind, certainly, there is something else that isn’t nearly as intensive and benefits from economies of scale. It is, of course, fishing. Whether it’s used as a metaphor for the value of education, a religious story illustrating compassion, or just something you do to “get away from it all,” fishing is ingrained in our psyche. Indeed, the global fisheries market was $130.0B in 2018 and is expected to grow 19.46% to $155.3B by 2023.
The why behind that increase is the expected growth in fish consumption, which recently reached a record 20.5 kilogram per capita per year and is expected to grow further in the decade ahead to 21.5 kilograms per capita, driving technological advancements in what is known as aquaculture.
Over the millennia, fishing has evolved from the circa 8,540 BCE Antrea Net to today’s 1,000-meter “Purse Seine” nets and the 28-mile longlines that are deployed on commercial trawlers. Like many segments of the modern economy, sustainability has increasingly become an issue for commercial-scale fishing. Over the past half-century, alarms have sounded on both the ecological impact of overfishing as well as the impact of techniques used to capture and process fish.
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