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

Improving coastal livelihoods through sustainable aquaculture practices: Full report

Wild-harvest fisheries for live reef fish are largely over-exploited or unsustainable. Sustainable aquaculture – such as that of groupers – is one option for meeting increasing demand for reef fish as well as potentially maintaining livelihoods of coastal communities. This report draws upon secondary literature, media sources and four diverse case studies from at-risk reef fisheries, to frame a strategy for encouraging sustainable aquaculture as an alternative to destructive fishing practices. It was commissioned by the APEC Secretariat.

Mud crab aquaculture in Australia and Southeast Asia

To review mud crab aquaculture in Australia and Southeast Asia, ACIAR funded a scoping study, followed by a workshop to review the study and discuss status and problems in different regions of Australia and Southeast Asia. The primary conclusion from the scoping study, verified by workshop discussion, was that the substantial crab farming operations which exist throughout Southeast Asia are still mainly based on wild caught crablets.

Shrimp Farming and the Environment: Can Shrimp Farming be Undertaken Sustainably?

This report is intended primarily as a discussion paper, to serve as the basis for informed dialogue and policy development to encourage more detailed guidelines following further study and consultation. It seeks, in particular, to answer three commonly posed questions: Is sustainable shrimp farming possible? Can poor coastal communities benefit from it? And, if so, what role can agencies like the World Bank play to ensure that basic minimal requirements to achieve this are met?

Coastal shrimp aquaculture: Searching for better management practices (abstract)

This case study was carried out in the North and North Central of Vietnam. The study was based on discussions and structured interviews with farmers, extension officers and other stakeholders. The objectives of the study were to describe the current coastal aquaculture practises, the impact on the livelihood of the coastal inhabitants and on the environment, to discuss the current situation in relation to the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and identify issues where BMPs should be introduced.

A case study on institutional aspects of shrimp aquaculture in Thailand

This case study documents the success and lessons learnt from local co-management approaches involving farmers associations and local government in Thailand. The case study also shows the linkages and relationships of institutions operating at different levels of administration from farm to national levels and their effect on management. The case study provides an analysis of institutional supports and mechanisms needed for successful shrimp farming management via case studies.

Code of good management practices for shrimp aquaculture in Sri Lanka (abstract)

The code development work was undertaken by the NARA in collaboration with the NAQDA, MFNWP, PEA, Shrimp Farmers and Exporters Associations, Shrimp Breeders Association, feed suppliers and manufacturers. This was developed mainly conducting consultations with different stakeholders of the industry and discussed at a forum with the representation of all stakeholders to reach consensus. The code includes technical specifications for the siting, design, construction and operation of shrimp hatcheries and farms.

Case studies in India on the role of small farmer groups and associations in sustainable shrimp aquaculture management (abstract)

The present case studies concentrated on three sites, Kandaleru in Andhra Pradesh, Dhigirpar in West Bengal and Brahmagiri in Orissa. The three sites are markedly differentbut have a common feature that all three mainly are concerned with small farmers groupings. Earlier shrimp farming failures owing to the overexploitation of the ecosystem, by overstocking and consequent high inputs, resulting in degradation of the environment, diseases and eventual collapse, have alerted all shrimp farm groups to be wary.

Case studies of Ecuadorian shrimp farming (abstract)

This case study review shrimp aquaculture development in Ecuador. The prevailing farming systems and practices are described. Most farms are extensive or semi-intensive and the industry is shifting to hatchery-reared PL rather than wild due to unpredictability in wild PL supply and disease outbreaks. A survey of water quality intake and outfall from farms is reported on with suggestions for farm design to reduce nutrient load in outfall is discussed. Health issues and mangrove degredation are discussed. 

Mixed shrimp farming-mangrove forestry models in the Mekong Delta: Termination report

The goal of this project was to optimise the economic yield from mixed shrimp aquaculture-mangrove forestry farming systems in Ca Mau Province, Vietnam, in a sustainable manner. Specific objectives were to investigate factors controlling the yields of shrimp and wood from shrimp farming-mangrove systems, experiment with shrimp pond and mangrove forest management to evaluate different culture options, identify improved practices and assist government to transfer the results of the project to the wider coastal farming community.

Shrimp Farming and the Environment (article prepared for InterCoast #39)

This article describes the international Consortium Programme on Shrimp Farming and the Environment, which was formed based on the recommendations of the World Bank review on shrimp aquaculture and the environment (1998), a 1999 NACA/WWF meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on shrimp management practices, and an FAO Bangkok technical consultation on policies for sustainable shrimp aquaculture (12/1997). The article was prepared for publication in InterCoast Issue #39, Cross Portfolio Learning for Enhancing Integrated Coastal Management.