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World Fish Consumption Nearly Doubles Since the 1970s

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In 2011, for the first time in modern history, global farmed fish production topped beef production, and the gap widened in 2012 when 66 million tons of farmed fish were produced, compared to 63 million tons of beef.

"And 2013 may well be the first year that people eat more fish raised on farms than caught in the wild. More than just a crossing of lines, these trends illustrate the latest stage in a historic shift in food production," the Earth Policy Institute reported.

At first glance this may appear to be a positive shift, as fish is widely regarded as a healthful alternative to beef, not only for human health but also for the environment.

But with industrial fish farming, or aquaculture, now outpacing beef production, we're seeing many of the same problems of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) now being taken to the seas.

Annual World Fish Consumption Nearly Doubles Since the 1970s

In the 1970s, the average person ate 25 pounds of fish per year. This has now reached 42 pounds per person and is expected to keep rising (for comparison, global beef consumption is less than 20 pounds per person annually).

Fish as a protein source has been growing in popularity as the health benefits of omega-3 fats EPA and DHA have been more widely publicized. At the same time, beef has gotten a bad rap for its fat content and decimation of the environment due to the intensive farming methods used to grow large amounts of cattle as quickly as possible.       
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