Nature and Biodiversity

This chart shows which countries consume the most or least fish

Multiple fish swimming in an ocean.

Portugal, South Korea and Japan are high on the list of fish consumers. Image: Unsplash/NOAA

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Nature and Biodiversity?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of the Environment is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of the Environment

  • Global average consumption of fish and other seafood per person reached a record high of 20.5 kilograms in 2019.
  • Countries with the highest consumption include coastal nations such as Iceland or the Maldives, at more than 80 kilograms per person per year on average.
  • Aquaculture – growing and harvesting fish rather than catching them in the wild – has played an increasingly large role in ensuring global supply keeps up with demand.

Thanks to it being a “highly accessible and affordable source of animal proteins and micronutrients” according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, fish and other marine animals play a major role in nutrition and food security around the world, particularly in coastal areas. However, there’s a huge gulf in per capita consumption of fish and other seafood, be it for cultural or simple geographic reasons.

Unsurprisingly, the countries with the highest consumption include coastal nations such as Iceland or the Maldives, where people consume more than 80 kilograms of aquatic foods per year on average. Portugal, South Korea and Japan are also high on the list of fish lovers, while landlocked countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Tajikistan are at the other end of the scale with per capita fish consumption of less than 1 kilogram per year.

Global average consumption of fish and other seafood reached a record high of 20.5 kilogram in 2019, continuing a continuous upward trend from 9.9 kg in the 1960s to 11.4 kg in the 1970s, 12.5 kg in the 1980s, 14.4 kg in the 2000s 19.6 kg in the 2010s. To keep up with soaring demand without depleting fish stocks, aquaculture, i.e. fish and marine animals that are grown and harvested rather than caught in the wild, has played an increasingly large role in global supply, accounting for nearly half the world’s production in 2020.

A graphic showing different countries ranked on how much fish they consume.
Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Tajikistan only have a fish consumption of less than 1 kilogram per year. Image: Statista.
Discover

What is the World Economic Forum doing to help ensure global food security?

Have you read?
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Critical minerals demand has doubled in the past five years – here are some solutions to the supply crunch

Emma Charlton

May 16, 2024

2:00

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum