Analysis of aquaculture development in Southeast Asia: A policy perspective

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 509

Analysis of aquaculture development in Southeast Asia
A policy perspective

Nathanael Hishamunda
Fishery Planning Officer
Fisheries and Aquaculture Economics and Policy Division
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
Rome, Italy

Pedro B. Bueno
Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA)
Bangkok, Thailand

Neil Ridler
FAO Visiting Expert, Professor of Economics
University of New Brunswick
Saint John, Canada

Wilfredo G. Yap
Aquaculture-Based countryside Development Enterprises Foundation Inc.
Pasig City, Metro Manila, the Philippines

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2009


Hishamunda, N.; Bueno, P.B.; Ridler, N.; Yap, W.G.
Analysis of aquaculture development in Southeast Asia: a policy perspective.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 509. Rome, FAO. 2009. 69p.

This paper aims to understand the factors which have enabled aquaculture to reach a commercial level in many countries in Southeast Asia and constrained it in others. While aquaculture has had a long history in Southeast Asia, its rapid expansion began in response to market demand, both domestic and international. In most countries, aquaculture developed because entrepreneurs were able to benefit from these profit opportunities; government involvement was minimal. Aquaculture was endorsed by governments as a source of livelihood or of export earnings but not promoted with the generous incentives that other countries in the region now offer. The most recent expansion of aquaculture in the region has still been driven by the profit incentive but this time it has been accompanied by government involvement. In some cases, governments have been pro-active, deliberately promoting the sector with incentives, motivated by the sector's contribution to economic development, food security and the balance of payments. In other instances, governments maintain an enabling role but, having learned from earlier mistakes in the region, they intervene with regulations to limit laisser-faire excesses. Although further development could be limited by the unavailability of land and fresh water, shortage and price of good quality feed, adequate energy supply and its rising cost, pollution and environmental degradation problems and limited expertise among government officials, aquaculture is likely to remain important in Southeast Asia for many more years ahead.


Preparation of this document

1. Introduction


Rationale and objectives
Methodological approach
Organization of the report

2. Historical development

3. Analysis of aquaculture supply



Contribution of aquaculture to regional and national total fish supply
Major species farmed and their contribution to fish supply
Contribution of farming environments to aquaculture output over time

4. Economic and social importance, markets and trade in aquaculture





Direct contribution of aquaculture to regional and national economies
Direct contribution of aquaculture to employment and income generation
Competitiveness of major selected species and welfare implications for the poor
Impact of aquaculture on communities
Contribution to national food security
Markets and trade of the region's aquaculture products

5. Policies, laws and regulations


The role of governments
Importance of laws and regulations
Environmental and mangrove policies and regulations
Aquaculture leases, licencess and permits
Aquaculture water regulations
Policies and regulation of aquaculture products
Policies towards industry structure
Policies towards seed production
Policies towards feed production
Policies towards investment capital
Marketing policies
Policies towards statistics collection
Policies towards research, education, training and extension

6. Summary and conclusions: lessons learned, major strengths, weaknesses and future directions


Policy lessons
Major strengths, weaknesses and future directions



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Estimated aquaculture farm household income by farming environment and selected species in Thailand, 1992
Mangrove area and brackishwater pond development in the Philippines, 1920 to 2000
Summary of additional policies adopted by countries in the region, and their effects

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106339-2

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