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FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

In Asia, fish currently supplies about 20 percent of the protein in people’s diets. Due to the increasing population and economic growth, by 2030 fish consumption in Asia is estimated to surge by 30 percent. Aquaculture is seen as the only way to meet the increasing demand due to the stagnant production from capture fisheries.

The goal of this regional initiative is to achieve sustainable growth of Asian Aquaculture, which will contribute to food and nutrition security through meeting increasing  regional and world demand for fish, poverty alleviation by making aquaculture an attractive and resilient  livelihood and overall contribute to economic development in the region.

Asia and the Pacific's Blue Growth Initiative

At the 32nd FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in March 2014, member countries endorsed the regional initiative on sustainable intensification of aquaculture for blue growth – improving fish supply for food and nutrition, increasing livelihood opportunities and contributing to blue growth of economy through more efficient and sustainable use of aquaculture resources.

The objectives of the regional initiative are:

  • Improve the utilization efficiency to aquaculture resources.
  • Improve production efficiency with reduced impacts on the environment.
  • Increase the resilience of farmers and the sector.
  • Improve the equity and social acceptability along the aquaculture value chain.

Major areas of work of the regional initiative:

  • Support  member countries in identifying options for addressing key governance issues in achieving sustainable aquaculture growth through appropriate regional and national consultation process, develop relevant regional  and national policy, strategy and action plan.
  • Increase farmers’ adaptability to climate change impact and resilience to natural disasters and socioeconomic risks  through development and promote innovative aquaculture management concept and practices.
  • Reduce negative environmental and social impacts  of aquaculture intensification and through promoting innovative farming technologies and management practices, establishing effective aquaculture bio-security and disease surveillance and control system, application appropriate planning and management tools and responsible use of resources.
  • Support the member governments in improving the access of  poor rural  aquaculture farmers to quality production inputs, sustainable production technology and market for improved productivity and economic efficiency.
  • Improve management of forestry (mangrove), water, land and tenure that will contribute to sustainable intensification of aquaculture.

SDG 14 and Blue Growth Working Together toward Sustainable Fisheries

The work of FAO is driven to a strong degree by the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. FAO is the custodian for SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Delivering on Sustainable Development Goal 14 Target 14.4 requires the effective regulation of fisheries to end overfishing, IUU fishing, and destructive fishing practices, and to implement science-based management plans aimed at restoring stocks to within biologically sustainable levels.

In order to mainstream the goals of SDG 14 into fisheries governance at every level, FAO created the Blue Growth Initiative and put it into action on regional levels. The BG initiative is about helping countries achieve sustainable and efficient resource use in capture fisheries and aquaculture, ecosystem services, trade, livelihoods and food systems.  It implements fishing techniques that minimize environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and the unsustainable use of resources while maximizing the economic and social benefits that build resilient communities. The BG initiative helps to ensure that the global instruments working to enforce legal and regulated fishing are implemented.