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Global Wild-Caught Whitefish Supply to Remain Flat in 2024

The International Groundfish Forum has predicted that the global supply of wild-caught whitefish will remain flat in 2024, with some species seeing gains while others see big drops. The total supply of wild-caught whitefish is expected to be 7.042 million metric tons (MT), down just 1,000 MT from the 7.043 million MT available in 2023. This still represents a higher supply than 2022, when the industry had 6.938 million MT to work with.

Alaska Pollock Supply to Increase

Alaska pollock, the largest wild-caught whitefish species by volume, will see a big increase in available catch in 2024 compared to 2023. The supply is expected to sit at just under 3.8 million MT, up from the 3.7 million MT available in 2023. The main source of the increase is a bump in Russia’s available supply, from 1.95 million MT in 2023 to 2.05 million MT in 2024. The U.S. and Canada will also enjoy a slight increase in supply.

Atlantic Cod Supply to Drop Significantly

The third-largest species by volume, Atlantic cod, will bear the largest drop in available supply in 2024. Its available catch will decrease from 921,000 MT in 2023 to just 791,000 MT in 2024, a drop of 130,000 MT, or a 14 percent decrease. Drops in catch in Norway, Russia, and Iceland will result in lower global supply of cod compared to 2022.

Other Species

The supply of the various hake species will undergo a slight decrease in available volume. In 2023, the supply was 1.114 million MT. This year, the supply will be 1.105 million MT, a decrease of 9,000 MT.

The supply of Pacific cod, like Atlantic cod, is also trending downward. The forum predicts there will be 329,000 MT available in 2024, down from 336,000 MT available in 2023.

Catches of haddock, the next largest species by volume on the list, are also declining, with 267,000 MT available in 2024, down from 280,000 MT in 2023.

Atlantic redfish, the next largest, will increase from 153,000 MT in 2023 to 172,000 MT available in 2024.

Hoki, the second-smallest commercial whitefish species in volume terms, will go from 141,000 MT in available volume in 2023 to 157,000 MT in 2024.

Southern blue whiting, caught in New Zealand, Argentina, and Chile, will be available in larger volumes year-over-year – from 39,000 MT in 2023 to 43,000 MT in 2024.

By region, the North Atlantic region will suffer the biggest decrease in available wild-caught whitefish, dropping from 1.803 million MT in 2023 to 1.685 million MT in 2024. The North Pacific Region will see a bump from 4.301 million MT in 2023 to 4.399 million MT in 2024, with much of the increase coming from the increase in supply of Alaska pollock.

Farmed Whitefish Supply

The supply of farmed whitefish, meanwhile, is trending up by volume. The supply of pangasius and other catfish in 2024 will be 3.96 million MT, up from 3.87 million MT in 2023, the forum predicted. The increase mainly stems from increased production in Asia, where Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China are all predicted to increase their supplies.

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