Environment and sustainability

Global population is forecast to reach around 9 billion by 2050. To feed the world, global agricultural output must increase by around 60% from present levels. This must be achieved against a background of increasing competition for natural resources such as water, feed ingredients and farming sites.

Maintaining environmental integrity while massively increasing food production will require farming systems to reduce their unit production environmental footprint. Many farming practices that are regarded as sustainable today will not be acceptable when scaled up. Sustainable intensification of aquaculture means doing more with less. The Sustainable Farming Systems Programme aims to help aquaculture become a more efficient user of natural resources, both in terms of farm productivity and environmental efficiency.

The programme develops better management practices for major aquaculture farming systems, and promotes aquaculture as a secondary or additional use of water resources. The programme focusses on practical interventions that can be directly achieved by small-scale farmers in a developing country context.

Key activities

Key activities of the programme are:

  • Development of better management practices for key aquaculture production systems.
  • Organising small-scale farmers into associations to facilitate cluster-based approaches to extension.
  • Development of culture-based fisheries as a secondary use of water bodies.
  • Development of strategic policy frameworks to guide governments and development agencies in promoting sustainable intensification of aquaculture.

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Aquaculture Asia Magazine, July-September 2005

In this issue:

Asian Development Bank study on aquaculture and poverty. The consequences of converting to organic shrimp farming. Recycling water and making money with Artemia. Advances in the seed production of cobia Rachycentron canadum in Vietnam. Australian success with barramundi cod Cromileptes altivelis. Recent grouper breeding developments in Thailand. Application of probiotics in rotifer production systems. Contract hatchery systems. Rainbow trout culture in Iran. Spotted babylon Babylonia areolata growout in earthern ponds.

Cultivo de Camarón y Medio Ambiente: Un programa en consorcio "Para analizar y compartir experiencias a fin de mejorar el manejo de la acuicultura de camarón en las áreas costeras"

Este reporte da detalles de las actividades y resultados del trabajo conducido bajo el Programa en Consorcio del Banco Mundial, NACA, WWF y FAO sobre “Cultivo de Camarón y el Medio Ambiente”. Este reporte sintetiza los resultados más importantes del programa del consorcio desde 1999 hasta marzo de 2002. Incluye los resultados de los talleres de usuarios que discutieron los resultados del programa, auspiciados por el Banco Mundial en Washington, DC, en marzo de 2002. 

Evaluation of Belize Aquaculture Ltd: A superintensive shrimp aquaculture systesm

Belize Aquaculture, Ltd., has developed a superintensive shrimp aquaculture system operating in lined ponds with heavy mechanical aeration and water recirculation. The pilot study has been in progress for two years. Shrimp production has ranged from less than 8,000 kg/ha to more than 20,000 kg/ha per crop. Because the Belize Aquaculture, Ltd., production system appears to address a number of the environmental impacts of traditional shrimp aquaculture systems, a case study of this unique system was conducted.

Shrimp aquaculture, the people and the environment in coastal Mexico

This report reviews the state of shrimp aquaculture developent in Mexico, including its impact on employment, complexities surrounding coastal property rights, investment and health issues. Regulation and monitoring of the industry are still in their infancy, but SEMARNAP is putting in place a system that may be able to ensure that aquaculture will be sustainable. More effective involvement of the NGO community in the aquaculture sector may also help to monitor and ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

Economics of better management practices for semi-intensive shrimp farms in Honduras and shrimp cooperatives in Nicaragua

Several stakeholder groups have formulated and recommended the implementation of better management practices (BMPs)aimed at improving production efficiency and/or ameliorating impacts of shrimp farming on the environment. In this study, an economic optimisation model with an environmental component was used to evaluate the effects of five specific BMPs on the profitability, optimal selection of management strategies, and net quantities of nutrients discharged by semi-intensive shrimp farms in Honduras and small-scale operations in Honduras and Nicaragua.

Silvofishery farming systems in Ca Mau Province, Vietnam

This case study provides (1) a description of the farming systems and management practices for mixed shrimp aquaculture-mangrove farming systems in the Mekong delta of Vietnam and (2) the findings from a detailed socio-economic study of these systems. The findings provide insight into the social and economic status of farmers involved in mixed aquaculture-mangrove farming, and the constraints associated with the adoption of management recommendations, with special consideration of the problems faced by poor farmers.

An evaluation of rice-shrimp farming systems in the Mekong Delta

The integration of dry season shrimp farming into rice fields has raised incomes over several consecutive seasons for many farmers in the region. However, our study has revealed some key constraints that need to be addressed in order improve environmental and economic sustainability. The results of our study show that the traditional practice of recruiting native shrimp species through water exchange is not sustainable because of the attendant build-up of sedimentation on the farm.

Shrimp farming in Rushan County, China (abstract)

This case study is based on a farm survey of 41 farms out of the total 340 farms in the Rushan County. The results presented in this paper highlight two main problems. The first issue revolves around labor cost statistics. The value of labor cost during the culture period forms a larger than proportionate ratio of total variable cost. The second problem lies in the high fixed cost incurred by rehabilitated farms.

Shrimp aquaculture management in Bangladesh (abstract)

This case study is based on review of existing publications/reports and stakeholder consultations. It is divided into three main sections, namely: 1) Background review on shrimp aquaculture in Bangladesh. 2) Results from a case study of farm management practices, hatcheries and wild shrimp fry collection and 3) Results from a case study on the social aspects of shrimp aquaculture, based on detailed local level studies in the Khulna region.

The environmental management of shrimp farming in Australia

In Australia, strict Commonwealth and state environmental regulations have constrained development of shrimp farming. A high level of resources, relative to the size and value of the industry, has been devoted to collaborative research on the environmental management of shrimp farming in Australia. The research findings are being used to provide a scientific basis for discharge license requirements and are incorporated into an advanced geographic information and decision support system in order to improve site selection and aquaculture planning.