CLEVELAND — US aquaculture production is forecast to expand 5.7% annually in nominal terms through 2025, according to Aquaculture: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. The largest driver of growth will be a rebound in seafood demand from restaurants after the COVID-19 pandemic suppressed eating away from home activity. Other trends supporting growth include continued expansion in the US population, rising disposable personal incomes, and continued consumer interest in seafood as a healthy alternate protein to red meat. Consumers will also continue turning to farmed seafood in response to concerns about overfishing of wild stocks. Ongoing adoption of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and continued experimentation with aquaculture of different species will also help grow the industry.
Faster production gains are expected to be restrained by multiple factors:
- consumers wary of farm-raised fish due to:
- animal welfare concerns
- concerns about the negative environmental impacts of farm raised fish
- a belief that wild-caught fish are more natural and healthy
- ongoing competition from wild-caught fish
- ongoing competition from foreign aquaculture products, especially from China and Vietnam
Finally, while not likely to be a serious competitive threat over the forecast period, companies such as BlueNalu and Novish are researching how to create and commercialize cellular-cultured and vegan seafood alternative products.
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