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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Update: 2022 Global Forum on Sustainable Development of Fisheries to be held on 13 December

Update: The forum will now be held on 13 December and and updated conference agenda is available below. Please register your attendance using the form linked below. A Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants before the meeting, thank you.

A free online forum will be organised by the Agriculture Trade Promotion Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, and Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, and NACA. The forum aims to strengthen international exchange and cooperation in aquatic trade, promote high-quality development of fisheries, disseminate advanced concepts, technologies, and models of aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region and Silk Road countries, and promote the health and sustainable development of global fisheries. Participation is free but registration is required.

A pilot of integrated mangrove-aquaculture as a nature-based solution to mitigate climate change in West Bengal, India

Nature-based solutions are interventions that aim to protect, restore and sustainably manage natural and modified ecosystems to benefit human well-being and biodiversity and address societal concerns. Integrated mangrove-shrimp farming or simply aquaculture is the coexistence of mangroves and shrimp aquaculture in a tide-fed environment. In comparison to other shrimp farming systems, integrated mangrove-shrimp farming can additionally produce timber and supports biodiversity. To understand the possible benefits of mangrove integration, our consortium compared three integrated mangrove-aquaculture systems together with three local farmers in North 24 Parganas. This article describes our findings, and important factors to consider before deploying integrated mangrove-aquaculture systems.

Post-doctoral Scholarships for women in STEM at the University of Stirling

The University of Stirling has been awarded funds by the British Council to provide funding for four Early Academic Fellowships for Women in STEM. These fellowships will be 6-12 months in duration. The scholarships are available to women who are passport holders and permanent residents of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. For further information please visit the University of Stirling website. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2022.

Free Seminar on Aquatic Resource Conservation and Green Aquaculture for Mekong Countries

A free virtual seminar series will be held from 13-17 December, hosted by the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, in partnership with NACA and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The seminar will be held via Zoom. It will give participants a background in aquatic resource conservation practices, recommend options for sustainable aquaculture farming systems with potential for intensification with intervention strategies, and build a communication and experience exchange platform for information dissemination and future collaboration. Participation is free. Registration closes 10 December.

NACA Newsletter, Vol. XXXVI, October-December 2021

In this issue:

Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20;  Workshop on SDG-aligned Artemia aquaculture;  Professor Sena De Silva Memorial Oration, 8 October 2021; Apply now: Training Course on Mariculture Technology in Asia-Pacific; New project on “Blue transformation in aquaculture”; Webinar on Status of Artemia cyst use in fish and crustacean hatcheries.

Aquaculture Asia Magazine, April-June 2021

In this issue:

Integrated taxonomy, conservation and sustainable development: Multiple facets of biodiversity; A note on 100th birth anniversary of the late Dr Hiralal Chaudhuri; Aquaculture field schools supporting mangroves for climate change adaptation of Indonesian milkfish-shrimp farmers; An insight to red tilapia breeding and culture: A farmer advisory; Aquaculture for livelihoods and food security in North-western India; NACA Newsletter.

Aquaculture field schools supporting mangroves for climate change adaptation of Indonesian milkfish-shrimp farmers

Over the last five decades, over 30 million people along Java’s north coast have experienced subsidence and subsequent soil erosion. In 2015, Building with Nature Indonesia (BwNI-Demak) started a coastal protection project in 10 communities of nine coastal villages of Demak regency. The protection measures introduced included the use of permeable structures (dams) that successfully capture sediment and support natural recovery of mangroves, and aquaculture field schools, to train small-scale farmers on good aquaculture practices such as low external inputs sustainable aquaculture, associated mangrove aquaculture and multi-trophic srhimp aquaculture.

Webinar: Culture-based fisheries for rural development

Join us on 31 May for a free webinar on Culture-based fisheries for rural development, with leading experts from the Asian region. Culture-based fisheries (CBF) are practices to enhance fish stocks in waters that don't have enough natural recruitment to sustain a fishery. CBF practices are usually applied in small water bodies such as village dams and irrigation reservoirs. Fish growth is driven by the natural productivity of the waters, foraging on natural food supplies. The simplicity and low capital requirements of CBF make it easy for farming communities to learn and adopt.

Aquaculture Asia Magazine, July-September 2020

In this issue:

Hatchery techniques for the seed production of short-necked clams (Paphia undulata) in Nha Trang, Vietnam; Lovesome chum of the aquarium are wreaking havoc in East Kolkata Wetlands, India; Concept of indigenous recirculatory aquaculture system executed in West Bengal, India and other places; Homestead modular hatchery technology of brackishwater catfish, Mystus gulio: A potential alternate livelihood option for small and marginal farmers of Sunderban; NACA Newsletter.

Lovesome chum of the aquarium are wreaking havoc in the East Kolkata Wetlands, India

Loricariid catfish species of the genus Pterygoplichthys, known in the aquarium trade as 'plecos' and 'algae eaters', have extensively invaded and proliferated in the East Kolkata Wetlands in West Bengal. Loricariids have capacity to alter the ecosystem and biodiversity of invasion sites, by physically altering the invaded habitats and by competing with native animals for food and space. The aquarium trade pathway is the most significant source of loricariid introductions globally. This article discusses the invasion of loricariid catfish in the East Kolkata Wetlands, and the environmental and economic impact on local fishers.