The demand for aquaculture products continues to grow at an increasing rate because of increased demand and limited supply. On the demand side three interrelated forces have created a market for fish products. Urbanisation in middle income and higher income countries has changed consumers’ food preferences, over the past decade, to demand healthier, easy to prepare less refined foods and reduced the consumption of starch based foods in their diet in favour of fruit, vegetables and protein rich foods.
Economic development and growth, reflected in rising per capita incomes largely driven by the emergence of a large middle class, has given consumers’ purchasing power to increase their relative consumption of protein rich foods in their diet. Furthermore, the consolidation of the retail food sector and its ability to create global supply chains to source better quality agricultural products at cheaper price, making “exotic” goods available to the masses. On the supply side, fish caught by the capture industry has steadily dropped as wild fish stocks are depleted due to over fishing.