Fish is arguably among the most commonly consumed food in the world today. People around the world consume fish in their homes and restaurants with other meals. Fish is a staple food in many countries whereas in others it is just considered a type of meal. Some countries have high numbers of consumption of fish. The top consumer countries are China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Japan.
Countries Consuming the Most Fish
China - 2,035,262.17 tons
The second most populous nation on earth takes the biggest share of fish consumption. With a population of more than one billion, fish and seafood demand is high, and it is reflected in the 2,035,262.17 tons consumed annually. The waters of the China Sea alone cannot be enough hence Chinese trawlers have to go to foreign waters to get the precious commodity. Across China, the commodity is consumed at both low-end and high-end restaurants depending on the variety and price available. The industry is also lucrative as the Chinese have been able to produce large volumes of fish food products to other countries like Canada and other nations in the world.
Myanmar - 1,501,415.06 tons
Also known as Burma, Myanmar has the second highest consumption since fish is widely consumed as a staple food. Since the country is blessed with rivers and has a coastline where fishing can be done, fishing is widely practiced as an economic activity. However, the country is prone to monsoon flooding which often disrupts the distribution of fish. Despite this disruption, the people in Myanmar consume fish and other seafood products. Poor management of inland and marine fisheries during the military regime saw the decline in the quality and quantity of fish being produced, and it gave rise to malnourishment in the populace.
Vietnam - 1,148,447.43 tons
The communist Asian country comes third in the ranking. The Vietnamese consider eating fish more frequently than other food products available due to the ease of preparing fish and its availability. Fish is also a major source of proteins and amino acids. Due to its importance to the Vietnamese, the government has put into place funds for expanding the seafood industry by building more processing centers. The policy is in line with the five-year plans that will end in 2020. Vietnam also exports its seafood products to other countries in Asia and the world, earning the government revenue.
Japan - 730,783.86 tons
The country comes fourth in the list of countries that eat the most fish with consumption of about 730,783.86 tons annually. Some of their fish is sourced locally from the oceans nearby, and others have to be imported to cover the deficit. The country is among the most populated in Asia which translates to more mouths that feed on fish and seafood delicacies. Fishing in Japan is a lucrative industry despite the decline in consumption due to the adoption of western diets by the Japanese people. The industry is worth more than ten billion dollars, and it benefits from favorable government policies that offer incentives and puts quotas on foreign fish products.
Other Top Consumers of Fish
India, Malaysia, Cote d'Ivoire, Mexico, Indonesia, and Mozambique complete the top ten consumer countries of fish. The high consumption of fish depends mainly on the availability of a conducive environment for fishing and the government policies on the same. Besides, the cultural features of the country’s people can determine the level of fish consumption.