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.

Related

Subject tags

A collection of subject tags relating to technical matters.

In this collection

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.

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.