Fish as food — Marine Stewardship Council
Personal tools
Log in

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home Healthy oceans The oceans today Fish as food

Fish as food

Image of Pollock Grenoble on dish Courtesy of Raymond Blanc

For many people around the world a reliable source of fish is essential for food security and survival.

Who eats fish?  

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report:

  • About 85% of fish caught is used for human consumption.
    The remainder is converted into fishmeal (mainly for high-protein feed) and fish oil (as a feed additive in aquaculture).
  • In 2013, fish accounted for about 17% of the global population's intake of animal protein.

  • A portion of 150g of fish can provide up to 60% of an adult’s daily protein requirements as well as healthy fats like Omega 3.

  • In 2013, fish provided 3.1 billion people with almost 20% of their intake of animal protein.
  •  In some countries, fish accounts for more than 25% of animal protein intake.
     In general, people in developing countries and especially those in coastal areas are much more dependent on fish as a staple food than those in the developed world.
  • Asia has the highest consumptions of seafood as a continent, combining high per-person consumptions with large populations.

Rising production

  • Seafood supply increases at an average annual rate of 3.2% and global fish production has grown steadily in the last five decades.
  • In 2014, wild capture fishery production was 93.4 million tonnes, farmed fish (aquaculture) provided a further 73.8 million tonnes
    The total is almost 20 million tonnes more than in 2010. In the mid-1990s seafood production was around 75-85 million tonnes. 


Safeguarding seafood for future generations

In order to safeguard food supplies for today’s and future generations we need to ensure our oceans remain healthy. 

At the MSC we believe that the best way to do this is to recognise and reward sustainable fishing, not to exclude fish from our diets. Fish provides us with healthy protein and sustains the jobs of many communities around the world

Choosing MSC certified sustainable seafood allows you to enjoy eating fish in the knowledge that you have made a positive choice to support well-managed fisheries. These fisheries are pioneering new ways to conserve the marine environment.

By supporting sustainable fisheries through regular shopping decisions you send a clear message back, encouraging more retailers to stock sustainably-sourced seafood and more fisheries to switch to sustainable practices.

Choose MSC certified seafood >

MSC certified ‘Fish to eat’ >

Document Actions