World capture fisheries and aquaculture production by species group, from FAO's Statistical Yearbook 2021[1]
World capture fisheries and aquaculture production by species group, from FAO's Statistical Yearbook 2021[1]

This is a list of aquatic animals that are harvested commercially in the greatest amounts, listed in order of tonnage per year (2012) by the Food and Agriculture Organization. Species listed here have an annual tonnage in excess of 160,000 tonnes.

This table includes mainly food fish species, but also listed are crustaceans (crabs and shrimps), cephalopods (squids and cuttlefishs), bivalves, and a reptile (softshell turtle).

Note that Oreochromis niloticus and Penaeus monodon appear twice, because substantial amounts are harvested from the wild as well as being extensively raised through aquaculture.


The 70 wild species shown in this table total 41,925,250 tonnes. Other wild species total 49,410,980 for a world total of 91,336,230 tonnes of wild, captured animals.[2]

The 31 cultivated species shown in this table total 45,252,999 tonnes. Other cultivated species total 21,380,254 tonnes for a world total of 66,633,253 tonnes of animals cultivated through aquaculture.[3]

Harvested aquatic animals by weight

Common name(s) Binomial name Image Wild/
in tonnes
Grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella
Ctenopharyngodon idella.jpg
Cultivated 6,068,014 China is the major producer of the grass carp, which grows quickly and requires fairly little dietary protein. Low-cost feed such as grain processing and vegetable oil extraction by-products, terrestrial grass, and aquatic weeds, allows the grass carp to be produced cheaply.[4]

This fish is mainly sold fresh, either in pieces or whole.

Peruvian anchoveta Engraulis ringens
Engraulis ringens.jpg
Wild 4,692,855
Silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Hungary.jpg
Cultivated 4,189,578 A variety of Asian carp, widely cultivated with other aquaculture carp, but under pressure in its home range (China and eastern Siberia). Also called "flying fish", it is an invasive species in many countries.[5]
Common carp Cyprinus carpio
Cyprinus carpio.jpeg
Cultivated 3,791,913
Japanese littleneck,
Manila clam,
Filipino Venus,
Japanese cockle,
Japanese carpet shell
Venerupis philippinarum
Ruditapes philippinarum.jpg
Cultivated 3,785,311
Alaska pollock Theragra chalcogramma
Theragra chalcogramma.png
Wild 3,271,426
Fisheries capture of Theragra chalcogramma.png
This species is often the main ingredient in the so-called crab sticks.
Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus
Cultivated 3,197,330
Whiteleg shrimp Penaeus vannamei
Litopenaeus vannamei specimen.jpg
Cultivated 3,178,721
Bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis
Bighead carp b.gif
Cultivated 2,898,816
Skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis
Katsuwonus pelamis.png
Wild 2,795,339
Catla Catla catla
Catla catla.JPG
Cultivated 2,761,022
Crucian carp Carassius carassius
Cultivated 2,451,845
Atlantic salmon Salmo salar
Salmo salar.jpg
Cultivated 2,066,561 The wild Atlantic salmon fishery is commercially dead; after extensive habitat damage and overfishing, wild fish make up only 0.5% of the Atlantic salmon available in world fish markets. The rest are farmed, predominantly from aquaculture in Norway, Chile, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Faroe Islands, Russia and Tasmania in Australia.
Atlantic herring Clupea harengus
Clupea harengus Gervais.jpg
Wild 1,849,969
Fisheries capture of Clupea harengus.png
Chub mackerel Scomber japonicus
Scomber japonicus.png
Wild 1,581,314
Fisheries capture of Scomber japonicus.png
Rohu Labeo rohita
Labeo rohita.JPG
Cultivated 1,555,546
Yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares
Thunnus albacares.png
Wild 1,352,204
Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus
Engraulis japonicus 01.JPG
Wild 1,296,383
Largehead hairtail Trichiurus lepturus
Trichiurus lepturus by OpenCage.jpg
Wild 1,235,373
Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua
Gadus morhua Cod-2b-Atlanterhavsparken-Norway.JPG
Wild 1,114,382
European pilchard Sardina pilchardus
Sardina pilchardus 2011.jpg
Wild 1,019,392
Capelin Mallotus villosus
Mallotus villosus.gif
Wild 1,006,533
Jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas
Dosidicus gigas.jpg
Wild 950,630
Milkfish Chanos chanos
Cultivated 943,259
Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus
Scomber scombrus.png
Wild 910,697
Fisheries capture of Scomber scombrus.png
Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss
Female Rainbow Trout in hand.JPG
Cultivated 855,982
Giant tiger prawn
Asian tiger shrimp
Penaeus monodon
CSIRO ScienceImage 2992 The Giant Tiger Prawn.jpg
Cultivated 855,055
Araucanian herring Clupea bentincki Wild 848,466
Fisheries capture of Clupea bentincki.png
Chinese razor clam
Agemaki clam
Sinonovacula constricta
FMIB 42830 Agemaki Shells.jpeg
Cultivated 720,466
Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis
Cultivated 714,392
Wuchang bream Megalobrama amblycephala Cultivated 705,821
Pacific oyster
Japanese oyster
Miyagi oyster
Crassostrea gigas
Crassostrea gigas p1040847.jpg
Cultivated 608,688
Louisiana crawfish
Red swamp crawfish
Procambarus clarkii
Procambarus clarkii.jpg
Cultivated 598,289
Akiami paste shrimp Acetes japonicus Wild 588,761 One of 14 species in the genus Acetes, this small, krill-like prawn is used to produce shrimp paste in South East Asia.
Gulf menhaden Brevoortia patronus
Wild 578,693
Fisheries capture of Brevoortia patronus.png
Indian oil sardine Sardinella longiceps
Indian Oil Sardine.JPG
Wild 560,145
Black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus
Mylopharyngodon piceus.jpg
Cultivated 495,074
European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus
Wild 489,297
Northern snakehead Channa argus
Northern snakehead.jpg
Cultivated 480,854
Pacific cod Gadus macrocephalus
Gadus macrocephalus.png
Wild 474,047
Pacific saury Cololabis saira
Wild 460,961
Pacific herring Clupea pallasii
Clupea pallasii pallasii.jpg
Wild 451,457
Fisheries capture of Clupea pallasii.png
Bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus
Thunnus obesus.png
Wild 450,546
Chilean jack mackerel Trachurus murphyi
Chilean purse seine.jpg
Wild 447,060
Fisheries capture of Trachurus murphyi 1950-2012.png
Yellow croaker Larimichthys polyactis
Wild 437,613
Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus
Haddock, Boston Aquarium.JPG
Wild 430,917
Gazami crab Portunus trituberculatus
Portunus trituberculatus.jpg
Wild 429,959
Amur catfish
Japanese common catfish
Silurus asotus
Cultivated 413,350
European sprat Sprattus sprattus
Sprattus sprattus.jpg
Wild 408,509
Fisheries capture of Sprattus sprattus.png
Pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
Humpback Salmon Adult Male.jpg
Wild 406,131
Mrigal carp Cirrhinus mrigala Cultivated 396,476
Channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus
Ictalurus punctatus.jpg
Cultivated 394,179 See also: Aquaculture of catfish
Blood cockle Anadara granosa
Anadara granosa.jpg
Cultivated 391,574
Blue whiting Micromesistius poutassou
Micromesistius poutassou Gervais.jpg
Wild 378,794
Hilsa shad Tenualosa ilisha
Wild 376,734
Daggertooth pike conger Muraenesox cinereus
Muraenesox cinereus.JPG
Wild 372,704
California pilchard Sardinops caeruleus
Catch of Pacific sardines.jpg
Wild 364,386
Cape horse mackerel Trachurus capensis
Trachurus capensis.jpg
Wild 356,795
Pacific anchoveta Cetengraulis mysticetus Wild 352,945
Japanese flying squid Todarodes pacificus
Todarodes pacificus ruler.jpg
Wild 351,229
Argentine shortfin squid Illex argentinus Wild 340,622
Pollock Pollachius virens
Pollachius virens 01.jpg
Wild 336,838
Fisheries capture of Pollachius virens.png
Chinese softshell turtle Pelodiscus sinensis
Cultivated 335,535 This species is a significant part of China's aquaculture. According to the data obtained from 684 Chinese turtle farms, they sold over 91 million turtles of this species every year; considering that these farms represented less than half of the 1,499 registered turtle farms in China, the nationwide total could be over twice as high.[6]
Kawakawa Euthynnus affinis
Euaff u0.gif
Wild 328,927
Indian mackerel Rastrelliger kanagurta
Rakan u0.gif
Wild 325,612
Asian swamp eel Monopterus albus
Monopterus albus 2.jpg
Cultivated 321,006
Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis
Mizuhopecten yessoensis.jpg
Wild 318,081
Argentine hake Merluccius hubbsi
Merluccius hubbsi.jpg
Wild 318,067
Northern prawn Pandalus borealis
Pandalus borealis.png
Wild 315,511
Short mackerel Rastrelliger brachysoma
Pla thu831.jpg
Wild 312,930
Fisheries capture of Rastrelliger brachysoma.png
Southern rough shrimp Trachysalambria curvirostris
Trachysalambria curvirostris.jpg
Wild 308,257
Southern African anchovy Engraulis capensis Wild 307,606
Pond loach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
Misgurnus anguillicaudatus.jpg
Cultivated 294,456
Iridescent shark Pangasius hypophthalmus
Iridescent shark.jpg
Cultivated 285,089
Mandarin fish
Chinese perch
Siniperca chuatsi
Ауха (китайский окунь) чучело.JPG
Cultivated 281,502
Nile perch Lates niloticus
Lates niloticus 1923.jpg
Wild 278,675
Round sardinella Sardinella aurita
Sardinella aurita.jpg
Wild 273,018
Japanese pilchard Sardinops melanostictus
Catch of Pacific sardines.jpg
Wild 269,972
American sea scallop Placopecten magellanicus
Placopecten magellanicus.jpg
Wild 267,745
Bombay-duck Harpadon nehereus
Harpadon nehereus (by Hamid Badar Osmany).jpg
Wild 257,376
Yellowhead catfish
Korean bullhead
Tachysurus fulvidraco
Yellow catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco 3.JPG
Cultivated 256,650
Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel Scomberomorus commerson
Sccom u0.gif
Wild 256,469
Fisheries capture of Scomberomorus commerson.png
Albacore Thunnus alalunga
Thunnus alalunga.png
Wild 256,082
Madeiran sardinella Sardinella maderensis
Sardinella maderensis.jpg
Wild 251,342
Bonga shad Ethmalosa fimbriata
Ethmalosa fimbriata.png
Wild 249,422
Silver cyprinid Rastrineobola argentea Wild 241,122
Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus
Wild 235,003
Longtail tuna Thunnus tonggol
Thton u0.gif
Wild 234,427
Atlantic menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus
Brevoortia tyrannus.jpg
Wild 224,404
Fisheries capture of Brevoortia tyrannus.png
Giant tiger prawn Penaeus monodon
CSIRO ScienceImage 2992 The Giant Tiger Prawn.jpg
Wild 212,504
North Pacific hake Merluccius productus
Merluccius productus.jpg
Wild 206,985
Atlantic horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus
Atlantic Horse Mackerel.jpg
Wild 205,807
Fisheries capture of Trachurus trachurus.png
Japanese jack mackerel Trachurus japonicus
Wild 202,816
Fisheries capture of Trachurus japonicus.png
Pacific thread herring Opisthonema libertate Wild 201,993
Fisheries capture of Opisthonema libertate.png
One of five species in the genus Opisthonema
Bigeye scad Selar crumenophthalmus
Fish4443 - Flickr - NOAA Photo Library.jpg
Wild 200,617
Yellowstripe scad Selaroides leptolepis
Yellowstripe scad.jpg
Wild 198,600
Chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta
Dog Salmon Breeding Male.jpg
Wild 189,777
Antarctic krill Euphausia superba
Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba).jpg
Wild 188,147
Blue swimming crab Portunus pelagicus
Portunus pelagicus male.jpg
Wild 180,119
Pacific sand lance
Pacific sandlance
Ammodytes personatus
Wild 175,892 Mostly manufactured into oil and meal, but also used as food in Japan.[7]
Goldstripe sardinella Sardinella gibbosa
Sardinella gibbosa.jpg
Wild 161,839

See also


  1. ^ World Food and Agriculture – Statistical Yearbook 2021. 2021. doi:10.4060/cb4477en. ISBN 978-92-5-134332-6. S2CID 240163091. Retrieved 2021-12-13.((cite book)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Capture production by principal species in 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-18. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. ^ "World aquaculture production of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, etc., by principal species in 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-18. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  4. ^ "FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture". Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Hypophthalmichthys molitrix". NAS - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species. US Geological Survey. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  6. ^ Shi, Haitao; Parham, James F; Fan, Zhiyong; Hong, Meiling; Yin, Feng (2008-01-01), "Evidence for the massive scale of turtle farming in China", Oryx, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42, pp. 147–150, doi:10.1017/S0030605308000562
  7. ^ "Ammodytes personatus Girard, 1856, Pacific sandlance". Retrieved 10 November 2014.