Human Food from Ocean and Land

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Science  15 Sep 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3794, pp. 1279-1281
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3794.1279


The figures in Table 1 yield some interesting results. The total annual value of food and mineral resources taken from the ocean is $8.3 billion, in contrast to $309 billion from the land. Using the land value as the yardstick, if the annual value of produce from the ocean were in ratio to the area relationship of ocean and land, the ocean potential would be $750 billion; the actual recovery for 1964 was only 1.1 percent of that potential. This very low percentage is the basis for either great optimism for the future development of the ocean (on the basis of unrealized potential), or great pessimism (on the basis of high costs compared with further development of land resources, or present exploitation to near the limit of productivity).