Mediterranean Mussel as a Seafood 931 World Mussel Production

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The population is increasing rapidly, which means simply more food production and more jobs are required. Although, vegetable production is sufficient for the present population and is likely to be for the future population, the intake of animal protein is inadequate in spite of attempts made during the last 60 years. This gap has not yet been closed. For this reason, the world aquaculture production has grown tremendously over the past 50 years from a production of less than one million tonnes in the early 1950s to 48.1 million tonnes in 2005, an average annual growth rate of 8.8% (Fig. 9.3a,b), Subasinghe et al. (2009). Of this production, 32.4 million tonnes (or 67.3%) was produced in China and 22.3% in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Western Europe contributed 4.2% with 2.0 million tonnes, while Central and Eastern Europe contributed 270 000 t or 0.6%. Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America contributed 2.9% and 1.3%, respectively. Finally, production from the Near East and North Africa, accounted for 1.2% and 0.2%, respectively, of the global total for 2005, Subasinghe et al. (2009).

In the recent years, the consumption of seafood has increased, Perugini et al. (2007), Kalogeropoulos et al. (2004), and marine mussels are a commercially important seafood product worldwide Phillips (1980), Farrington et al. (1987), Widdows (1985). The world production of mussels, including both, aquaculture and wild harvest production, is given in Fig. 9.4, FAO (2006) .

The area of the world with the highest mussel's production is China. Denmark is the only country that still produces very large quantities of wild harvest mussels, but producers there are now investing seriously in increasing the capacity to culture mussels. Spain and Denmark lead the world in the production of canned products, FAO (2006).

In the last several decades, producers have been switching away from wild harvests toward a variety of culturing techniques. Hickman (1998) refers to marine mussels as an "ideal candidate for aquaculture," having characteristics such as rapid growth rates, high productivity on almost any substrate, relatively straightforward husbandry and ability to filter plankton and take up nutrients, and resilience to disease. Most of the world's production of mussels is canned, nearly 65%, or frozen nearly 35%; most international trade in the residual (<1%) is of high-valued premium fresh or chilled products, FAO (2006). European Union shellfish sanitation regulations limit imports of the fresh product from extra-EU sources; however, much of the international trade in fresh mussels occurs among EU countries. The Netherlands leads among the producers of fresh or chilled products for the European market.

According to the reviewed literature data, the world production of all mussel species still includes wild harvested mussels as well as aquacultured ones. In the last 20 years the world production of cultivated mussels has been almost 100% higher than that of wild harvested mussels. China is the largest producer of mussels, including aquacultured and wild harvested mussels, in the world.

3 Million ions

1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year b Percentage (%)

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Fig. 9.3 (a) Contribution to seafood supply: aquacultured - light gray; captured - dark gray. In the last 40 years, the world production of aquacultured mussels has increased and nowadays aquacultured mussel production is almost double that of wild harvested mussels. (b) The world aquacultured seafood production has grown tremendously over the past 40 years. Mussel production was less than 10% of the total seefood production in the early 1970s but attained 45% in 2005, with an average annual growth rate of 8.8%

1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year

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