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Two milestone events in the recent history of aquaculture are the FAO Technical Conference on Aquaculture, held in Kyoto, Japan in 1976, and the Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium, held in Bangkok, Thailand in February 2000. Both aimed to envision the future opportunities and roles of aquaculture in society and to recommend strategies to meet expectations and demands for sustainable aquaculture development in the next two - three decades. The Kyoto Conference looked into the opportunities provided by technology and science, and the possibilities for networking, personnel development and institutional strengthening for aquaculture development. In addition to these aspects, the Bangkok Conference also examined the role that aquaculture will play within the overall context of development, from the local to the global level. The Kyoto Conference adopted two broad strategies: to bring science into aquaculture, which was until then largely traditional, and to expand aquaculture development through regional cooperation. These strategies were translated into policy and action by governments, with the initial assistance of various multilateral and bilateral agencies.

The rationale for the Bangkok Conference was that, 24 years having passed since Kyoto, it was time to reassess the direction that aquaculture development was taking and to develop strategies to facilitate its sustainable growth.

to provide the opportunity for more stakeholders to participate in this process, and to discuss the opportunities and functions of modern-day technologies in the development of sustainable aquaculture. To achieve these purposes, the conference:

  • envisioned the likely state of aquaculture in the first 20-30 years of the new millennium,

  • identified possible constraints to the future deve-lopment of the sector, and

  • recommended strategies to solve these constraints, with emphasis on regional and global cooperation.


Preparatory Activities

The major inputs to the conference were developed via a number of focused and intensive preparatory activities designed to achieve global coverage and comprehensive review of all the relevant issues. These included:

  • the regional workshop to formulate the Asian aquaculture development strategy for 2000-2020, conducted by NACA in Kanchanaburi, Thailand in August 1999;

  • a review of South Pacific aquaculture conducted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) with the assistance of ICLARM;


The Bangkok Conference was designed to continue the work started in Kyoto, with the objective of developing a strategy to facilitate the sustainable growth of the sector and harness its potential contribution to greater social development. As with Kyoto, the results are intended to assist government policy makers and other stakeholders concerned with aquaculture development to meet the social, technical and regulatory needs of aquaculture over the next 20 years. Furthermore, the conference was designed

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  • the reviews on the state of, and trends in, aquaculture development in five other regions, namely, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the former Soviet Republics, the Near East and North America, that were facilitated and supervised by FAO;

  • the expert-led 14 thematic reviews of the entire range of policy, legal and technological issues related to sustainable aquaculture development;

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  • a global synthesis workshop, held at the FAO Regional Office in Asia-Pacific in October 1999, that discussed the regional reviews of aquaculture development trends and synthesized these, along with other information, into a global review on the state of, and prospects for, aquaculture development;

  • the preparation of two keynote papers, one to review the development of aquaculture since the Kyoto Conference on Aquaculture in 1976, the other to assess the global prospects for aquaculture development in the next 20-30 years; and

  • the development of five plenary lectures by experts aimed to broadly place the themes and issues in context.

Additionally, technical and experience papers were submitted voluntarily, most of which were presented as posters.


Dr. Rohana Subasinghe of FAO provided an introduction to the background, objectives, strategies adopted, activities and expectations of the conference. As it was an agenda-setting strategic exercise, the Conference Programme was structured so that there were, at most, only two days of parallel sessions, each session following logically from the previous one. The parallel sessions were the six thematic sessions covering policy and the six sessions addressing technical issues. This was designed to promote greater interaction and wider additionally incorporated relevant comments and suggestions made during this final plenary discussion and those submitted over the one-month period after the conference.

participation in the discussion of issues associated with the biological, technical, social, economic, environmental, policy and legal aspects of the development of aquaculture

The Conference Programme indicates a deliberate, participatory and iterative procedure that allowed every participant an ample opportunity to contribute constructively to the discussions and the framing of the Declaration and Strategy. The various sessions developed conclusions and recommendations pertaining to the themes discussed, which were synthesized by the Technical Drafting Committee (TDC) into a draft Declaration and Strategy. This draft document was discussed and adopted, in principle, during the final plenary session. The TDC, with assistance from the  Conference Secretariat,


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The conference offered broad-based participation and wide-ranging involvement of stakeholders in its planning, preparation, development and conduct, marked by transparency of the entire process, to achieve a high credibility for its results.

Inaugural Ceremony

The inaugural ceremonies of the conference, as well as the Aquaculture and Seafood Fair 2000, were held on the afternoon of 20 February. Welcoming words, acknowledgements and expressions of gratitude to participants and their organizations, governments, sponsors of the conference, and individuals and institutions that rendered assistance to the conference and the activities leading up to it, as well as assurances of commitment to the recommendations of the conference, were spoken by the representatives of NACA and FAO and the host government organization. The welcoming speeches of NACA Coordinator, Mr Hassanai Kongkeo, FAO/RAP Officer-in-Charge, Mr Dong Qingsong, NACA Governing Council Chairman, Mr A.M. Jayasekara, and Thailand’s Director General for Fisheries,
Mr Dhammarong Prakobboon appear in the Conference Report.

The Inaugural Speaker was the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, Mr Pongpol Adireksan. Using the aquaculture development status and prospects of Thailand to underpin his message, he outlined the policy and technological requirements that the country would need to sustain its ability to continue to provide food and good livelihoods to the rural people and to improve the economy of the nation. He urged the conference participants to come up with a practicable and comprehensible set of recommendations. The Minister’s inaugural address also appears in the Conference Report.

Aquaculture and Seafood Fair 2000

The Bangkok Conference was organized together with the Aquaculture and Seafood Fair 2000 to focus on the participation of the private sector in the development of aquaculture and its allied industries. It also provided an opportunity for members of the aquaculture business and industry sector to interact with policy-makers and members of the scientific community, enabling them to learn of international, regional and national policies related to aquaculture and the possibilities that science and technology offer to assist them in developing appropriate strategies. The fair was inaugurated jointly by the Minister of

Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, Mr. Pongpol Adireksan, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, and the Vice Minister of Fisheries of Viet Nam, Dr Nguyen Viet Thang.

Bangkok Declaration and Implementation Strategy

The first major output of the Conference is Aquaculture Development Beyond 2000: the Bangkok Declaration and Strategy. The Declaration encapsulates the vision of the conference and the principles and practical considerations upon which the vision is based, and the Strategy describes 17 key elements that countries can incorporate when developing strategies for aquaculture development for the next 20 years.

The draft Declaration and Strategy was presented for discussion and adoption on the afternoon of the final day of the conference. It had been circulated two days earlier to the participants for their comments and suggestions, with the request that these be given in writing or made during the plenary discussion. Twenty-eight lengthy, detailed and unanimously constructive comments from individuals and groups comprising a coalition of international, regional and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were received between the time the draft was circulated and its presentation in plenary.

Mr Glenn Hurry, Co-Chairman with Mr. Chen Foo Yan, of the Technical Drafting Committee (TDC), presented the Declaration and Strategy. He said the committee abided by the guideline suggested by the Inaugural Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture of Thailand, which was that the outcomes should be practicable, workable and understandable to the people who have to implement them. He admitted that developing a broadly acceptable text required a degree of compromise and conciliation from all the participants. He emphasized that the key issues and broad strategic directions have been incorporated to provide the framework within which individual countries can tailor their own plans for the development and integration of aquaculture. He stressed that the Declaration must be strong enough to address the key issues confronting the future of aquaculture, because a mediocre document with a weak approach that avoids issues would not give aquaculture a sustainable future.

The TDC Co-Chairman also paid tribute to the architects of the Kyoto Declaration on Aquaculture, which he considered to be one of the most important


documents in the development of aquaculture. He credited this to the vision and commitment of those involved, in particular, Dr T. V. R. Pillay who, he said, was instrumental in Kyoto and, again, provided the spark and encouragement for the Bangkok Conference.

He reiterated the conference concern that the next 20 years will see many challenges in food-producing systems and in balancing the use of natural resources, but also the optimism that it will also benefit from improvements in communication, science and technology. He closed with an appeal for all who are involved in, and benefit from, aquaculture to embrace the Declaration and take it forward with the commitment and courage to do and say what is right and necessary to ensure that aquaculture fulfils its potential. “It will be your courage, your flexibility, your commitment and your integrity and not self-interest or self-promotion that will make the vision of the Bangkok Declaration on Aquaculture a reality,” he said. The full text of the TDC Co-Chairman’s introduction to the Declaration and Strategy appears in the Conference Report.

The presentation was followed by a discussion on the substantive issues. The conference agreed to the draft document, with the proviso that additional comments arising from the day’s discussion, lodged in writing with the Secretariat by the end of the conference, or submitted to the drafting committee during the one-month period after the conference, would be included in the final document, where appropriate. This procedure was implemented by the TDC, with the assistance of the Conference Secretariat.

The TDC was comprised of 20 persons representing a broad range of expertise and every legitimate stakeholder group in aquaculture: government, non-government, civil society, community-based organizations, farming, business and industry, policy, academe, research and development, and national, regional and international development assistance. The members were from developing and developed countries in the Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and North America. Please see the full text of the Bangkok Declaration on pages 10-18.

Report of the Conference and the Technical Proceedings

In addition to Aquaculture Development Beyond 2000: the Bangkok Declaration and Strategy, the two other conference publications are the Report of the Bangkok Conference on Aquaculture and the Technical Proceedings of the Bangkok Conference on Aquaculture. The detailed recommendations of the thematic sessions are included therein. These were developed by the members of the session panels and other associated experts during the conference,

presented in a plenary session, redrafted, and then refined through consultations by correspondence among the panel members and other associates after the conference.

The Technical Proceedings of the Bangkok Conference on Aquaculture will include the full texts of the global, regional and thematic reviews, the keynote and plenary lectures, and the contributed technical papers. The latter will be subject to the peer-review process.


Three sets of major inputs to the conference were presented: the global synthesis and regional reviews of aquaculture development status and trends; thematic reviews; and keynote papers and plenary lectures. In addition, some 60 abstracts and/or full manuscripts of technical and experience papers were contributed, 40 of which were presented as posters at the Aquaculture and Seafood Exhibition Hall.

Keynote Papers

Two keynote papers were presented at the start of the conference. The first, From Kyoto 1976 to Bangkok 2000, by Dr T. V. R. Pillay, reviewed the progress of aquaculture since the Kyoto Conference, highlighted the recommendations of the conference that were successfully put into practice, and focused on crucial development challenges. Dr Pillay was lead person in the Kyoto Conference, former coordinator of the UNDP/FAO Global Aquaculture Development Coordinating Programme based in FAO, and NACA Adviser.

The second keynote paper, Aquaculture development beyond 2000: global prospects, by Mr Jia Jiansan, outlined the prospects and potential for aquaculture development into the new millennium. The constraints and opportunities on a global, as well as regional perspective were described, and a number of strategies were highlighted that could make aquaculture respond more effectively, in a sustained manner, to social development needs, particularly those of providing nutritious food to increasing populations and improving livelihoods. Jia Jiansan is FAO’s Chief of the Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Services (FIRI). The keynote paper was developed in collaboration with Messrs Ulf Wijkstr÷m, Rohana Subasinghe and Uwe Barg. The keynote papers will appear in the Technical Proceedings of the Bangkok Conference on Aquaculture.


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Global and Regional Reviews of Trends in Aquaculture Development

The synthesis of global aquaculture development status, trends and issues; and the regional reviews of the development status, trends and issues (which largely, but not solely, formed the basis of the global synthesis) from eight regions (Asia, the Pacific Island Nations and Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the former USSR countries (with a supplementary presentation on Ukraine’s aquaculture history, development and status), North America, and the Near East), as well as from China, were presented in plenary in Session 1, also on the first day of the conference, following the keynote papers. The titles of the reviews and the names of the reviewers are listed below
(if more than one reviewer, the person whose name is underscored gave the presentation):

  • Asian aquaculture: trends, issues and prospects, Hassanai Kongkeo

  • Current status of aquaculture in the Pacific Islands, Tim Adams, Johann Bell and Pierre Labrosse

  • Aquaculture in China, Wang Yianliang

  • Sub-Saharan African aquaculture, Cecil Machena, John F. Moehl, Jr., A.G. Coche and V.O. Sagua (abstracted and presented by Matthias Halwart)

  • Aquaculture status and development trends in Latin America and the Caribbean, Cesar Alceste-Oliviero and Manuel Martinez-Espinosa

  • Aquaculture status and development trends in Near East countries, Abdel El Gamal (abstracted and presented by Krishen Rana)

  • North American review on trends in aquaculture development, Paul G. Olin

  • Aquaculture development trends in the former USSR countries, Laszlo Varadi, Sergey Blokhin, Ferenc Pekar, Istvan Szucs and Imre Csavas

  • Aquaculture development trends in Europe, Laszlo Varadi, Istvan Szucs, Ferenc Pekar, Sergey Blokhin and Imre Csavas

  • A global perspective of aquaculture in the new millennium, Sena S. de Silva.

Plenary Lectures

The six plenary lectures, presented on succeeding days, broadly provided the setting for the thematic sessions. These were on the following areas:

  • Policy-making and planning for aquaculture, Ulf Wijkstr÷m

  • Technologies for sustainable aquaculture development, Patrick Sorgeloos

  • Regional and interregional cooperation for sustainable aquaculture development, Lennox Hinds


  • Human resource development for sustainable aquaculture development, Sena S. de Silva, Michael J. Phillips, Sih Yang Sim and Zhou Xiaowei

  • Aquaculture and trade, Helga Josupeit and Audun Lem

  • Livestock production: a model for aquaculture? Robert A. Swick and Michael C. Cremer.

Thematic Reviews

There were 14 thematic reviews on policy, planning and technological aspects of sustainable aquaculture development. Each thematic review was conducted by a panel of experts headed by a chairperson. The names of the persons presenting the reviews are listed below. The full list of contributors to the review process will appear in the Technical Proceedings of the Bangkok Conference on Aquaculture.

  • Increasing the contribution of aquaculture for food security and poverty alleviation, Albert G. J. Tacon

  • Integrating aquaculture into rural development in coastal and inland areas, Simon Bland

  • Involving stakeholders in policy-making, planning and management, Sevaly Sen

  • Promoting sustainable aquaculture through economic incentives, Rolf Willmann

  • Establishing legal institutional and regulatory frameworks for aquaculture development and management, Annick Van Houtte

  • Building the information base for aquaculture policy-making, planning and management, Yong-ja Cho

  • Aquaculture systems and species, Harald Rosenthal

  • Genetics in aquaculture development, K. Mujimdar and R. Dunham

  • Aquaculture health management, Rohana Subasinghe

  • Nutrition and feeding, Sadasivam Kaushik and M. R. Hasan

  • Culture-based fisheries and enhancement, K. Lorenzen

  • Systems approach to aquaculture management, C. E. Boyd and M. J. Phillips

  • Aquaculture products: quality, safety, marketing and trade, Helga Josupeit and Audun Lem

  • Aquaculture development: financing and institutional support, Ronald Zweig.

The extended summaries of the above inputs, except the global synthesis, which appeared in full, were published in the Book of Synopses that was distributed to the participants before the conference. As mentioned above, the full text of all papers will be published in the Technical Proceedings of the Bangkok Conference on Aquaculture.

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