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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A collection of subject tags relating to technical matters.

In this collection

Thematic review on management strategies for major diseases in shrimp aquaculture

This document presents the report of the Expert Workshop on Management Strategies for Major Diseases in Shrimp Aquaculture. The report includes summaries of fifteen national review papers on the history and current national status of major shrimp diseases, including their socioeconomic impacts and an evaluation of the successes and failures of state and private sector interventions to solve major disease problems and to develop more sustainable shrimp culture industries, and four thematic reviews.

Thematic review of feeds and feed management practices in shrimp aquaculture

This paper reviews feeds and feed management practice in shrimp aquaculture and assesses the trends and environmental implications of feed use. Particular attention is given to the use of fish meal in shrimp diets and water pollution caused by feeds. The review identifies practices at farm, manufacturing and ecosystem levels that can reduce environmental impacts associated with the use of shrimp feeds. Trends in the use of alternative ingredients to replace fish meal are also considered.

Codes of practice and conduct for marine shrimp aquaculture

The rapid expansion of marine shrimp aquaculture in many tropical developing countries has proceeded without effective environmental regulation. Most countries with shrimp farming do not have an established regulatory apparatus to monitor and enforce environmental and socioeconomic standards. Therefore, voluntary codes of conduct are a possibility for improving overall management and possibly profitability of the marine shrimp aquaculture industry until effective governmental regulation is implemented. This paper reviews the status of existing codes of conduct for shrimp farming.

Coastal water quality monitoring in shrimp farming areas: An example from Honduras

Various substances in shrimp farm ponds can contaminate waters, including nutrients, metabolic wastes, veterinary chemicals, and suspended soil particles from erosion. This report discusses ways to monitor these aspects of water quality, which is important from two standpoints for shrimp farmers. Incoming water used top supply shrimp ponds must be healthful and free of toxins to protect the growing shrimp, and effluent must be clean enough to avoid harming aquatic ecosystems and water quality standards downstream.

The integration of mangrove and shrimp farming: A case study on the Caribbean coast of Colombia

Shrimp aquaculture has been accused of threatening mangrove forests worldwide. Mangrove and shrimp ponds are known to have mutually supportive functions. Mangrove wetlands can treat effluents from shrimp ponds effectively by removing suspended solids and nutrients. This activity can be expected, in turn, to enhance mangrove productivity. This report describes an integrated mangrove wetland–shrimp farm operating in Colombia since 1996. At this site, shrimp farm effluent is recirculated through an 120 ha mangrove area.

The adoption of good management practices by the shrimp industry on the Caribbean coast of Colombia

This report discusses the recent history of shrimp aquaculture along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, with a focus on effective management practices that have been implemented since the mid-1990s. While the primary reason for using different practices has been preventing outbreaks of shrimp diseases, many such practices provide environmental benefits as well. Examples include reducing the use of water and ensuring that effluent entering natural water bodies is at least as clean as the intake water.

Key management challenges for the development and growth of a shrimp farm in northeast Brazil: A case study of Camanor Produtos Marinhos Ltda.

This case study discusses the main lessons for management practices learned at the shrimp farm Camanor, in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Since it was founded in 1982, the farm has yielded data that allow the lessons and insights to be drawn. This case documents the most important lessons learned by Camanor during the past 18 years. The most important challenges before the shrimp aquaculture industry involve developing better practices and implementing industry wide standards that are more sustainable.

Shrimp farming in Brazil: An industry overview

The purpose of this study is to assess the development of the shrimp farming industry in Brazil, identifying past obstacles and key incentives for its expansion. The shrimp industry has taken longer to develop in Brazil than in other countries. Despite favorable conditions, it is only recently that successful efforts are consolidating. This report analyzes the main factors that have inhibited the development of the industry and describes the sector's current characteristics.

Aquaculture Asia Magazine, January-March 2005

In this issue:

Freshwater prawn culture in China and its market prospects. Demise of wastewater-fed duckweed-based aquaculture in Bangladesh. Freshwater finfish biodiversity - an Asian perspective. Her farm is destroyed, how can we help? Women oyster vendors in Eastern Thailand. Farm-level feeds and feeding practices for marine finfish. ACIAR grouper grow-out feeds and CSIRO research. Feed development and application for juvenile grouper. Grouper growout feeds. Silver pomfret culture technology.

A prototype warm water shrimp hatchery

A successful hatchery usually depends on a number of conditions; among the more important ones are right choice of site, effectiveness and efficiency of operational management. The present technology series attempts to describe the prototype warm water shrimp hatchery established and operated by SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department in collaboration with FAO since 1982. The techniques used in the operation of the hatchery have been refined, repeatedly tested and are now packaged for further testing in different environmental conditions elsewhere in the Philippines and other tropical countries.