Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Hiroyuki Konuma

FAO Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific

OPENING ADDRESS

by

Hiroyuki Konuma
Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific


delivered at the


Global Conference on Aquaculture


Phuket, Thailand
22 September 2010





Dr. Somying Piumsombun
, Director General. Department of Fisheries, Royal Government of Thailand

Mr. Jia Jiansan, Chief of Aquaculture Management Service, FAO, Rome
Prof. Sena De Silva, Director General, Net work of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific

Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, keynote speaker and Chairman of the Swaminathan Foundation

Mr. Kilus Nguravva, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia

Mr. Thamrat Wanglee, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Royal Government of Thailand

Distinguished Participants, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen

      I feel honored and privileged to be here with you today on this occasion of the “Global Conference on Aquaculture 2010”.

      First of all, allow me to convey the warm greetings and best wishes of Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  I would like to take the same opportunity to welcome you, on his behalf, to this Conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      In February 2000, experts around the world, without doubts including many of you, gathered in Bangkok for a similar occasion:  the Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millenium.  There, important priority actions for pushing the Aquaculture Agenda forward were identified and gathered in what is now known as “The 2000 Bangkok Declaration and Strategy”. 

      Ten years later, we gather again in order to:
      • review the present status and trends in aquaculture development;
      • evaluate the progress made in the implementation of the 2000 Bangkok Declaration and Strategy;
      • address emerging issues in aquaculture development;
      • assess opportunities and challenges for future aquaculture development; and
      • build consensus on advancing aquaculture as a global, sustainable and competitive food production sector.

      As you complete this tedious task in the course of this week, you will certainly realize how important the progress made in the sector development has been.

       In the last decade, aquaculture has evolved into a globally robust and vital industry.  With an estimated 68 million tonnes of aquatic products, which were worth about 106 billion US dollars and a producer of close to 50 percent of the fish we eat, 30.5 million full-time employments in 2008, the sector has become a big contributor to national economies, food security and job creation worldwide.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

      Aquaculture has grown tremendously, but there are still obstacles which hamper its further development.  It would be too onerous to go through all of them.

      I see in this room a very impressive array of talented people.  I would like to believe that we are all from the same breed, serving a common purpose and sharing the earnest interest of developing aquaculture.  It is my firm conviction that the massive experience in this room will be used as a reference beacon as we tenderly look for ways to overcome these constraints and continuously seek to define the right road to nurture this worldwide promising industry.

      It is after defeating these impediments that the sector will achieve its full potential.  The world can then look forward to improved food security, creation of more employment opportunities and higher incomes, reduced poverty and provision of more diversified economies.

Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

      My intervention would be incomplete if I did not renew my appreciation to the Thai Department of Fisheries and express my gratitude to NACA (Network Aquaculture Centres for Asia Pacific) for their excellent logistic arrangements of the Conference.

      I wish you all a productive and rewarding meeting.