Aquatic Genetic Resources - A valuable and unexplored reserve of biodiversity for food and agriculture

The Development of a Registry of Farmed Types of Aquatic Genetic Resources

The Report on The State of the World's Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture identified a number of important needs and challenges in the conservation, sustainable use and development of aquatic genetic resources (AqGR). One of the major priorities identified was to "establish and strengthen national and global characterization, monitoring and information system for AqGR". This priority includes:

  • Promotion of a globally standardized use of terminology, nomenclature and descriptions of AqGR;
  • Improved and harmonized reporting procedures and expanded existing species-based information systems to cover unreported AqGR; and
  • Development, promotion and institutionalization of national, regional and global standardized information systems for the collection, validation, monitoring and reporting on AqGR below the level of species (i.e. farmed types and stocks).

In response to calls from the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, the Government of Germany is supporting an FAO project on the development of a prototype registry of Farmed Types of Aquatic Genetic Resources (the Registry). The outputs targeted by this project will be:

  • A functional prototype Registry populated with farmed types for a number of selected species;
  • A website interface for the Registry for data entry and query.
Schematic of the proposed information system with a Registry of farmed types at its core.

The project will develop these outputs through an Expert Workshop and a series of regional workshops with member countries. A functional prototype populated with data for some species in some countries will be publicly available by late 2020.
The Registry will provide an inventory of farmed types of key species cultured by countries. This registry will be the core component of a broader information system on AqGR (with the working title of AquaGRIS) which will incorporate a series of indicators that can monitor progress on the conservation status of farmed types and wild relative stocks, progress against a future Global Plan of Action (GPA) and potentially progress against SDG indicator 2.5 which is currently applied primarily to terrestrial genetic resources.