According to the FAO, the total amount of aquaculture and fisheries is about 178.5 million metric tons. This number only represents the number of fish that are for food and trade. Additionally, there are currently 34,900 known fish species.
The total number of fish is currently impossible to determine. However, scientists do have some estimates. In 2010, researchers tried to estimate the number of fish caught by looking at FAO’s aquaculture report and using FishBase’s record of the average weight for each species. Their research showed that, on average, there are between 0.68 and 1.97 trillion fish caught each year.
How Did Researchers Collect Data?
According to the report, they only used data from FAO that was necessary to measure fish according to their criteria. Because 30% of the fish lacked accurate measurements at the time of collection, the researchers extrapolated their findings to arrive at a total estimate of 0.97–2.74 trillion fish.
However, fish for farming and feeding only make up a part of the total number of fish in the world. The other part includes fish that are not caught for food or trade such as recreational catch, bycatch, and illegal fishing. So, the total number of fish in the world is likely to be much higher than 2.74 trillion.
In addition, there are 34,900 known fish species as of the moment. The ocean’s vastness and fish evolution would potentially introduce newer species not yet discovered by science. Thus, the total number of fish species in the world can still expand in the future.
What Fish Has the Most Population?
The bristlemouth king is the most populous fish in the world. It is a small, deep-sea fish that can be found in all oceans around the world. Estimates put its population between the trillions or even quadrillions. This means that there are more bristlemouth kings than any other fish species in the world.
What Fish Has the Least Population?
The Sakhalin Sturgeon has the smallest population of any fish species in the world. It is a deep-sea fish that can be found in the seas of Japan, Russia, North and South Korea, and China. IUCN reports that there are only ten to thirty fish currently recorded.
The total number of fish in the world is a difficult figure to determine, but scientists have estimates. Using FAO data and FishBase records, researchers found that on average there are between 0.68 and 1.97 trillion fish caught each year. However, this only includes fish for food and trade- not recreational catch, bycatch, or illegal fishing. With the addition of new species discovered every day and the vastness of the ocean, it’s likely that the total number of fish is much higher than previously thought. Out of all known fish species, the bristlemouth king has the largest population, with estimates of quadrillions of individuals. Conversely, the Sakhalin Sturgeon has the smallest population, with only 10–30 currently recorded.