Aquaculture is growing and expected to help meet the global demand for aquatic products in the years to come. As a major producing sector, aquaculture faces major challenges in maintaining sustainability. Driven by concerns that some forms of aquaculture (mainly shrimp and salmon) can be environmentally unsustainable, socially inequitable, and that some products are not safe for consumers, over the years there have been attempts to respond to the consequent public perceptions and market requirements. Certification and ecolabelling has been one of them.

At its third session in 2006, the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, while recognising value of certification for increasing public and consumer confidence in aquaculture production practices and products, also noted that many non-governmental certification schemes have resulted in higher costs for producers without delivering significant price benefits to small-scale producers, and stated that there was a need for more globally accepted certification guidelines for aquaculture production, which could provide more guidance and serve as a basis for improved harmonisation and facilitate mutual recognition and equivalence of such certification schemes.

Two joint FAO and NACA (Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia Pacific) Workshops on “Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification” are planned in Thailand and Brazil (hosted by the Kingdom of Thailand and the Government of Brazil). The first Expert Workshop on Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification was held in Bangkok Thailand, from 27-30 March 2007. The Expert Workshop build consensus on a framework for the Guidelines and agreed on a road map for its development. This document presents the information generated during the first Expert Workshop.

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Workshop and conference proceedings

NACA frequently organises technical workshops and consultations on aspects of aquaculture. The proceedings of such meetings are made available for free download. Audio and video recordings of technical presentations are also available for some meetings (please see the podcast section).