The Philippines’ fisheries production is projected to rise by 12 percent to almost 2.9 million metric tons (MT) in 2032 on the back of higher aquaculture output, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

In its latest global report, the FAO estimated that Philippine fish output in 2032 would reach 2.881 million MT, up from 2.572 million MT recorded in 2022.

The FAO noted that aquaculture production would contribute more to the country’s fisheries production by 2032.

The country’s aquaculture output in 2022 stood at 804,000 MT, about 31 percent of its total fisheries production during the period, according to FAO.

In 2032, the contribution of aquaculture to overall fisheries output would increase to about 34 percent with estimated production at 965,000 MT or about a fifth higher than the 2022 volume.

“The top seven highest-producing countries in aquaculture are all in Asia: China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Philippines and the Republic of Korea,” the FAO said recently.

“In 2022, these countries alone accounted for 86.2 percent of the total world production,” it added.

The Philippines is projected to remain as the fifth largest fish producer in Asia in 2032, according to the FAO.

Fish catch by the Philippines in 2022 reached 1.768 million MT, accounting for almost 69 percent of its total output, based on the FAO report.

The FAO reported that global aquaculture production in 2022 surpassed capture production for the first time in history. Global aquaculture output in 2022 stood at 94.4 million MT versus the 91 million MT volume of fish caught, according to the FAO.

Meanwhile, the Philippines was the fourth largest producer of algae in 2022 with an estimated output of 1.5 million MT.

The FAO noted that Asia accounted for 97 percent of the global algae production of 38 million MT in 2022.

Farmed algae output in 2022 stood at 36.5 million MT, slightly higher than the 35.1 million MT recorded in 2020, the FAO added.

“This increase was the result of production expansions led by China, followed by Malaysia, the Philippines, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Russian Federation and a few others,” the FAO said.

In the Philippines, aquaculture has been seen as one of the brightest prospects in agriculture and fisheries sector because of its potential to contribute to the country’s economy and uplift people’s welfare.

Aquaculture now accounts for more than half of the country’s annual fisheries production, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. Almost 70 percent of the country’s aquaculture production is seaweed, an algae.