Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) in aquarium.
An estimated 1.7 to 8.7 billion farmed individuals of this species are "harvested" for food each year.
Credit: Lebatihem Ehsan.

It is estimated that between 51 and 167 billion* (ie 51,000,000,000 – 167,000,000,000) farmed fishes were slaughtered for food globally in 2017 which represents a 4-6% increase since 2015, during which an estimated 48 to 160 billion* were slaughtered. This is an update to an earlier estimate of between 37 and 120 billion* farmed fishes slaughtered for food globally in 2010 and details of the estimating method are given in the pages below.

Details of the estimate are available for global production and by country and by species.

It is also estimated that between 560 and 1,300 million* farmed fishes were slaughtered for food in the European Union in 2017. This includes 240-320 million gilthead seabream, 160-200 million European seabass, 87-460 million rainbow trout, 30-150 million common carp and 25-58 million Atlantic salmon. The total estimated fish numbers comprise estimated fish numbers for 93% of total EU farmed fish production tonnage in 2017. Details of the EU estimate are available here.

Numbers of living farmed fishes

It is estimated that there are between 73 and 180 billion* living farmed fishes (based on data for 2015). Details of the estimate are available in a spreadsheet here.



* rounded to 2 significant figures.