Aquaculture North America

Aquaculture workforce grows

More than 19 million people around the world are employed in aquaculture, with women accounting for an estimated 14 percent, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) biennial report, “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.”

Looking at employment in capture fisheries and aquaculture as a whole, the proportion of those employed in aquaculture increased from 17 percent in 1990 to 32 percent in 2016. The figures reflect aquaculture's robust growth and crucial role in feeding the world’s population. In contrast, the proportion of those employed in capture fisheries declined from 83 percent in 1990 to 68 percent in 2016.

Fish farmers totalled 19.27 million in 2016, up 4.1 percent from 18.51 million in 2010, according to the report. In North America, there were 9 million fish farmers in 2016, unchanged since 2010. Employment in aquaculture was concentrated primarily in Asia (96 percent of all aquaculture engagement), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. The report defines employment as full-time, part-time or occasional basis.