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The UN Food and Agriculture Organization circulated three papers yesterday.

FAO Fisheries Circular No. 884, entitled "Review of the State of World Fishery Resources: Marine Fisheries," updates the regular reviews of the state of the world's marine fish stocks, based mainly on statistics through 1992. It notes the limits of world fish production, documents and draws attention to the implications of the high level of exploitation of the more valuable marine resources and notes, for each FAO statistical area, the major changes and trends that have occurred in specific resources. Special sections address the environmental issues in marine fisheries and provide a perspective of the fishery assessment strategies in current use in support of fisheries management in each region.

FAO Fisheries Circular No. 885, entitled "Review of the State of World Fishery Resources: Inland Capture Fisheries," analyses the status and trends of food production from inland capture fisheries from 1984 to 1992. It notes that the steady increase in total inland catches appeared to peak in 1992 at approximately 6.5 million tonnes, but at about this time the contribution from aquaculture equaled and began to exceed that of capture fisheries. The paper states that it can be assumed that most of the major fisheries are not at their maximum levels of exploitation, and that future increases, to maintain supplies to an increasing world population, will be almost totally supplied from aquaculture activities.

FAO Fisheries Circular No 886, entitled "Review of the State of the World Fishery Resources: Aquaculture," analyses the status and trends of food production through aquaculture from 1984 to 1992. The paper notes that by 1992 aquaculture was contributing over 14% of the total fisheries production, more than compensating for the decline in capture fisheries. It notes that aquaculture is expected to make a major and increasing contribution to total food fish supply.