Regional workshop documents sustainable intensification practices in aquaculture

Due to the world’s rapidly growing population, which is expected to peak somewhere around 9.5 billion, food production will need to be massively increased over the next few decades. This increase must be achieved without further degrading the environment. The unit environmental footprint of food production must be significantly reduced from where it is today. This concept, termed sustainable intensification, applies as much to aquaculture as it does to other agricultural sectors.

As a step towards this goal FAO and NACA convened a Regional Workshop on Documentation and Dissemination of Successful Practices of Sustainable Intensification of Aquaculture in Asia-Pacific, from 16-18 June 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop was attended by 29 experts from 17 states in the region and regional development organisations. It was opened by Mr Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.

The purpose of the workshop was to identify and document successful farming practices and technologies that had contributed to the intensification of aquaculture in a sustainable way. That is to say that they had provided demonstrable benefits to farmers and farming communities without adding to the environmental impact of aquaculture production, or by reducing it. By documenting these practices, it is hoped that awareness of them will be raised and that they will be adopted in other countries in the region.

The workshop participants reviewed twelve case studies shortlisted for consideration:

  • Development of an improved common carp strain and its dissemination in China.
  • Development and dissemination of genetically improved “Jayanti” rohu (Labeo rohita), India.
  • Development and dissemination of specific pathogen free shrimp seed (Penaeus monodon), Thailand.
  • Successful development and dissemination of the mass grouper seed production technology in Indonesia.
  • Development and dissemination of low cost farm-made formulated feed for improved production efficiency in polyculture, India.
  • Increased resilience and empowerment of small-scale farmers through cooperatives, China.
  • Development of bivalve farming as a source of income generation for women self-help groups in coastal India.
  • Integrated rural livelihood development through trout farming and related business in hill areas of Nepal.
  • A science-based management approach for sustainable marine cage culture, Hong Kong SAR.
  • Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture of fish, bivalves and seaweeds in Sanggou Bay, China.
  • Sustainable milkfish production in marine cages in the Philippines through strong government support and effective public-private partnerships, Philippines.
  • Development and dissemination of closed and semi-closed intensive shrimp production systems, Thailand.

Case studies that meet the grade for sustainable intensification will be written up in a forthcoming publication to be released jointly by FAO and NACA, which will be released for free download in due course.

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