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Towards Sustainable Shrimp Culture Development:

Implementing the
FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF)1

Uwe Barg2 , Rohana Subasinghe, Rolf Willmann,
Krishen Rana, and Manuel Martinez

Fisheries Department
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Rome, Italy

Table of Contents

Abstract

1. Introduction

1.1 Production trends in shrimp aquaculture

1.2 Diversity of shrimp culture

2. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) and Aquaculture Development

2.1 Origins and basic contents of the CCRF

2.2 Salient provisions of the CCRF as relevant to aquaculture development

2.2.1 Co-operation in Implementation
2.2.2 Special Requirements of Developing Countries
2.2.3 General Principles
2.2.4 CCRF Article 9 – Aquaculture Development
2.2.5 The Code and Integrated Coastal Area Management (CCRF Article 10)
2.2.6 The Code and Post-Harvest Practices and Trade (CCRF Article 11)

3. Recent and On-going FAO Activities and Assistance

3.1 The FAO Bangkok Consultation on Policies for Sustainable Shrimp Culture and follow-up and related activities

3.1.1 Legal, Institutional and Consultative Framework for Sustainable Shrimp Culture
3.1.2 Planning and Regulatory Methods and Tools and Economic Incentive Schemes for Sustainable Shrimp Culture
3.1.3 Development of Voluntary Codes of Practice for Sustainable Shrimp Culture
3.1.4 Specific Reporting by Governments on Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in Respect of Sustainable Shrimp Culture

3.2 Ad-hoc Expert Meeting on Indicators and Criteria of Sustainable Shrimp Culture, Rome, 28-30 April 1998

3.3 Summary of Results of Survey Among Governments of Producing Countries of Cultured Shrimp

3.3.1 Provisions of coastal zone planning, legislation and implementation and laws and regulations applicable to shrimp culture in place or planned
3.3.2 Requirements for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and their provisions
3.3.3 Farm licensing requirements and percentage of total farms subject to licensing and actually licensed
3.3.4 Benefits of shrimp culture, including production, foreign exchange and employment
3.3.5 Feeding efficiency
3.3.6 Effects of shrimp virus or other diseases on farmed shrimp production
3.3.7 Relative use of hatchery and wild post larvae seed stocks
3.3.8 Appropriate use of chemicals and public health (food safety)
3.3.9 Management of mangroves
3.3.10 Shrimp culture research
3.3.11 Concluding remarks on the survey

3.4 Outcome of the 23rd Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, Rome, Italy, 15-19 February 1999, as related to Shrimp Culture

3.5 FAO Asia Regional Technical Co-operation Project (TCP/RAS/6714): Assistance to Safe Trans-boundary Movement of Live Aquatic Animals

3.5.1 Background
3.5.2 Purpose
3.5.3 Current status
3.5.4 Assistance to individual countries

3.6 Assistance in the development of national Codes of Practice, Technical Guidelines and "Best Management Practices" for Sustainable Shrimp Culture

4. References and Additional Reading

Appendix 1

ARTICLE 9 - AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

Abstract

Cultured shrimp have been the driving force behind the strong increase in shrimp trade during the late 1980s and early 1990s making it, in value terms, the most important seafood product traded internationally. In fact, over one quarter of the shrimp traded internationally comes from aquaculture.

Recently, increasing publicity has been given to environmental and social issues related to shrimp farming, which together with shrimp disease outbreaks in various countries have raised questions about the sustainability of shrimp farming. Some organizations and individuals have judged shrimp farming to be un-sustainable. Whilst practices can be identified in some situations where there are indications of threats to sustainability (e.g. environmental impacts, shrimp disease outbreaks, social conflicts, etc), it is equally possible to identify farms and farming systems among the diversity of shrimp farming practices which have grown shrimp over many years, without apparent adverse social conflicts or environmental impacts. Among the various challenges which the shrimp culture sector is facing nowadays, is the need to properly identify and promote those systems and management practices – among the diversity of practices - which are sustainable and promote these as a contribution to sustainable development for people in coastal areas.

There is significant scope for improving or refining existing institutional and legal frameworks governing current aquaculture practice, and for enhancing capabilities of the public and private sectors to better plan and manage the development of the shrimp culture sector, be it at national, local or farm levels. However, whilst the bulk of farmed shrimp is produced in the developing world, most of this production is being exported and consumed in industrialized countries. There are therefore many opportunities to strengthen international co-operation on technical, policy and trade issues associated with global shrimp culture developments.

The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), adopted in 1995 as global intergovernmental consensus on the promotion of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture developments, is presented here as a framework of basic principles and norms which all stakeholders concerned with shrimp culture can use as a common platform for better understanding, consultation and collaboration. Examples of recent efforts by FAO, and others, in the implementation of the CCRF are given, and suggestions are provided to further promote the sustainable development of shrimp culture.

1. Introduction

Cultured shrimp have been the driving force behind the strong increase in shrimp trade during the late 1980s and early 1990s making it, in value terms, the most important seafood product traded internationally. In fact, over one quarter of the shrimp traded internationally comes from aquaculture (FAO, 1998a).

This rapid development has been accompanied by increasingly controversial debates over the environmental, social and economic impacts of shrimp culture. There is considerable uncertainty about appropriate policy and management responses, not least because of the perception that shrimp culture generates substantial benefits in coastal regions and at national levels.

The causes for high growth rates included technological progress and high market demand, especially in Japan, USA and Europe, as well as stagnating or reduced supplies from wild stocks, many of which are over-exploited. High growth rates were also made possible by two features: First, many governments, often assisted by bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, actively supported the development of export-oriented shrimp culture in order to earn foreign exchange. This support ranged from the provision of subsidised credits to government-sponsored extension and training schemes. Second, planning exercises, if any, and the issue of permits for the siting and operation of shrimp farms in the coastal areas were speedily undertaken. Thus, at the origin of the impressive growth rates of shrimp culture lie the economic incentives created by high returns on investment, or expectations thereof, and the speed at which new farms could be established. While these conditions could be taken as healthy signs of economic development, there is evidence that the governmental planning and regulatory frameworks were in several instances inadequate to ensure that private returns on shrimp culture could be sustained and the expected societal benefits fully realised.

The sustainability issues of shrimp culture are well known and include, inter alia, the siting of shrimp ponds in mangrove areas impairing the habitat, coast line protection and other valued ecological functions of mangroves and depriving local communities from their traditional use of mangroves; exceeding the waste assimilation capacity of creeks, lagoons and near-shore coastal waters; over-utilization of fresh water aquifers; affecting wild shrimp stocks through seed and brood stock collection, and other non-target stocks through by-catches; obstruction of access to communal resources by coastal communities; nutritional, socio-economic and cultural impacts of conversion from agricultural multi-crops including paddy to shrimp culture; and others. From the perspective of shrimp farmers and the shrimp industry, a primary concern has been production and income losses associated with disease outbreaks, or inability of controlling the spread of diseases.

There are numerous reviews addressing issues associated with the sustainable development of aquaculture, and of shrimp aquaculture in particular (see, for example, Pillay, 1996; Boyd, 1997; Phillips, 1998; FAO, 1998b; FAO, in press; Phillips and Barg, 1999; Barg and Phillips, 1997; GESAMP, 1991).

1.1 Production trends in shrimp aquaculture3

Between 1984 and 1997 reported shrimp and prawn production increased at 14%/yr, and in 1997 around 941,000 tonnes of shrimps and prawns valued at 6.1 billion dollars were cultured. The contribution of cultured shrimp and prawns to total fisheries has not changed much this decade. Since 1991 cultured and captured shrimps and prawn accounted for 27-29% and 71-73%, respectively. Conservative estimates indicate that the shrimp culture sector employs directly more than one million persons.

The global geographical distribution of shrimp and prawn output continues to be highly skewed towards Asia. Seven of the top ten shrimp producing countries were Asian accounting for 75% of global production in 1997, compared with 14% for Latin America. Thailand the world largest producer saw its production decrease from a peak of 266,000 tonnes in 1994 to around 215,000 tonnes 1997. India and the Philippines also reported similar decreases. China's shrimp culture is showing evidence of recovery and between 1994 and 1997 output increased at 17%/yr from a low of 63,000 tonnes in 1994 at to reach 103,000 in 1997. Ecuador, dominates production in Latin America, and in 1997 accounted for 80% of Latin American production followed by Mexico (11%) and Honduras (6%) .

The giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) is the major farmed shrimp species making up around 52% of total global farm production, dominating production in Thailand, Indonesia, India and Philippines. In contrast China cultures the fleshy prawn, P. chinensis . The western white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) is the leading species in Ecuador and most other countries in Latin America, which overall makes up 18% of total farmed shrimp production.

Besides shrimp and prawn species, production of sea spiders and crabs has been increasing steadily. Compared to the production in 1988 (3,674 mt), in 1997 world production of marine crabs and sea spiders was 165,022 mt approximately valued at US$ 932 million. Although comparatively small, the production of freshwater crustaceans (including giant river prawn [Macrobrachium rosenbergii], crawfish, crayfish, etc.) has also been gradually increasing. The production from this sector accounted 171,174 mt in 1997 with an estimated value of US$ 870 million.

1.2 Diversity of shrimp culture

Shrimp farming is a sector with a very high degree of diversity, involving a wide range of species, farming systems and production practices, and farming locations. There are significant differences between and within countries regarding the levels of production intensity and yields, farm numbers and their sizes, and the various types of resources utilized. Shrimp farms are often classified into extensive (low input systems characterised by low stocking densities, little or no external nutritional inputs, tidal water exchange and shrimp yields of less than 500 kg/ha/yr); semi-intensive (use of fertilizers combined with supplemental feeding, intermediate stocking, occasional pumping of water and yields of 1-2 tonnes/ha/yr); and intensive systems (high stocking density, formulated complete feeds, aeration and water pumping with yields of more than 2 tonnes/ha/yr). Such classification of shrimp farming systems is difficult, and can be rather arbitrary, given that there are additional characteristics and different criteria and terminolgies in use. Farms may also use monoculture or polyculture systems (polyculture systems are usually common with low input systems); they may be operated as mixed systems (e.g. shrimp and mangrove farms); or by alternate cropping, involving one crop of shrimp followed by a harvest of another species or crop (e.g., rice-shrimp alternate cropping systems in Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam). The size of farm is also very variable. In Asia, small-scale farms dominate shrimp farming in many countries, which is in contrast to many farms in the Western hemisphere. The use of terms such as ‘traditional’ and ‘industrial’ shrimp farming does not describe the extreme diversity of shrimp farming. Thus, an important consideration when discussing shrimp farming is the diversity of farming systems in operation as well as their location, size, management and the people involved.

Shrimp farming also supports a large number of associated "industries", including input suppliers (such as hatchery operators, manufacturers and suppliers of feeds, equipment, chemicals, etc.) and people and businesses dealing with post-harvest handling and processing, distribution, marketing and trade. This diverse and sometimes fragmented industry structure has to be considered in assessments of the nature of the industry and in the implementation of "improved" management practices.

2. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) and Aquaculture Development

2.1 Origins and basic contents of the CCRF

The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries originated at the International Conference on Responsible Fishing, held in May 1992 in Cancun, Mexico. Following this Conference and the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), FAO was requested by its member countries to draft an International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Subsequently, many experts and representatives from governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations participated in several FAO technical consultations and in the 1993 and 1995 Sessions of the FAO Committee on Fisheries for the purpose of the formulation of the Code.

The code draft documents received a broad consensus from the Member States of FAO and the final text was adopted by government representatives attending the 28th Session of the FAO Conference on October 31, 1995 (FAO, 1995).

Given the complex issues, the different interests and the wide-ranging problems which fisheries and aquaculture are facing throughout the world, it is indeed remarkable that governments, experts, and other interested parties from both developing and developed countries, succeeded, through collaboration and negotiation, in the preparation and adoption of the Code. This consensus can be regarded as a strong call for commitment to self-regulation and monitoring, to more precautionary approaches as well as to sustainable development in fisheries and aquaculture. The tasks ahead in most cases are very challenging and are likely to be fulfilled only through collaboration.

The Code sets out principles and international standards of behaviour for responsible practices with a view to ensuring the effective conservation, management and development of living aquatic resources, while recognizing the nutritional, economic, social, environmental and cultural importance of fisheries, and the interests of all those concerned with the fishery sector.

The Code is based on relevant rules of international law, including those reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and incorporates the spirit of Agenda 21 and the 1992 Rio Declaration of the UN Conference on Environment and Development as well as the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Code is non-binding in nature and will be implemented on a voluntary basis, although containing certain provisions, which may be given, or have already been given, binding effect. An example of provisions which are already binding is the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas, 1993.

The Code consists of five introductory articles: (i) Nature and Scope, (ii) Objectives, (iii) Relationship with Other International Instruments, (iv) Implementation, Monitoring and Updating, and (v) Special Requirements of Developing Countries. These articles are followed by an article on General Principles which precedes the six thematic articles on: (a) Fisheries Management, (b) Fishing Operations, (c) Aquaculture Development, (d) Integration of Fisheries into Coastal Area Management, (e) Post-Harvest Practices and Trade, and (f) Fisheries Research.

The Code is addressed primarily at States, that is, the Code stipulates actions to be taken by States, and their government authorities and institutions. However, it is also meant to address persons, interest groups or institutions, public or private, who are involved in or concerned with fisheries and aquaculture. In fact, in the case of aquaculture development, it is evident that responsibilities beyond the local farm level need to be shared by many players (FAO Fisheries Department 1997). Providing an "enabling environment" for sustainable development in aquaculture, as in agriculture, is the responsibility of people in governments and their institutions, the media, financial institutions, pressure groups, associations, non-governmental organizations, as well as of social and natural scientists, manufacturers and suppliers of inputs, processors and traders of aquaculture products (see also FAO 1999).

It should be borne in mind that many aquafarmers, like most of their terrestrial counterparts, continue to attempt solving problems on their farms while struggling with constraints such as inadequate access to resources, natural and financial, lack of institutional and legal support, or unavailability of appropriate information (Barg et al., 1997). In many cases it is very difficult for aquaculture farmers to adapt their farming practices to new requirements. Nonetheless, in many cases there are obvious and significant advantages for the producers to improve their practices, most often in terms of increased productivity and efficiency, resulting in sustained profits, as well as in terms of environmental performance and public image. Most significantly, however, are those advantages which arise from recognized product quality and acknowledged "good practice". Most producers recognize consumer demands as well as the requirements by retailers. It is therefore important that appropriate information on aquaculture is provided to consumers, and to the public in general. Those trading aquaculture products as well as those supplying inputs required for aquaculture, also have a role to play in providing such information to civil society.

2.2 Salient provisions of the CCRF as relevant to aquaculture development

The Code provides a range of provisions which address important issues relevant to aquaculture. In addition to Article 9 "Aquaculture Development, which explicitly covers major aspects of aquaculture, there are also significant provisions in other sections of the Code having an important bearing on aquaculture and its general development context. The text of Article 9 – "Aquaculture Development" is provided here for easy reference (Appendix 1). The full text of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries can be obtained directly from the FAO Fisheries Department or from its web sites:

http://www.fao.org/fi/agreem/codecond/codecon.asp

http://www.fao.org/fi/agreem/codecond/ficonde.asp

Following, a number of salient provisions are highlighted, with a view to providing examples of basic recommendations for possible important policies and actions which may be derived from the provisions of the Code.

2.2.1 Co-operation in Implementation

The Code calls all those concerned and interested to collaborate in the fulfilment and implementation of the objectives and principles contained in this Code. Article 4 clearly highlights that not only States and their authorities should promote the Code but also all non-governmental organizations, which per definition also include private sector associations. Co-operation is sought and encouraged to facilitate the implementation of the Code, for example, as stated in following provisions:

4.2 FAO, in accordance with its role within the United Nations system, will monitor the application and implementation of the Code and its effects on fisheries and the Secretariat will report accordingly to the Committee on Fisheries (COFI). All States, whether members or non-members of FAO, as well as relevant international organizations, whether governmental or non-governmental should actively cooperate with FAO in this work.

4.4 States and international organizations, whether governmental or non-governmental, should promote the understanding of the Code among those involved in fisheries, including, where practicable, by the introduction of schemes which would promote voluntary acceptance of the Code and its effective application.

2.2.2 Special Requirements of Developing Countries

In formulating and negotiating the Code it was recognized that many developing countries continue to face significant development problems, and that the special economic and social circumstances prevailing in these countries would need to be given due consideration. The Code therefore calls – in Article 5 – for efforts and measures to address the needs of developing countries, especially in the areas of financial and technical assistance, technology transfer, training and scientific co-operation. Special efforts should be undertaken particularly in the areas of human resource development.

2.2.3 General Principles

There are six provisions under the General Principles (CCRF Article 6) which are of major significance for aquaculture matters:

The requirement to respect the environment, its goods and services, applies to both States as well as to all users of living aquatic resources. Special emphasis is given to the protection of critical fisheries habitats, and to the need to prevent impacts resulting from human activities.

6.1 States and users of living aquatic resources should conserve aquatic ecosystems.

6.8 All critical fisheries habitats in marine and fresh water ecosystems, such as wetlands, mangroves, reefs, lagoons, nursery and spawning areas, should be protected and rehabilitated as far as possible and where necessary. Particular effort should be made to protect such habitats from destruction, degradation, pollution and other significant impacts resulting from human activities that threaten the health and viability of the fishery resources.

The Code emphasizes not only all aspects of production of fish and fishery products, it also covers the requirement for responsible action in harvesting and post-harvest practices:

6.7 The harvesting, handling, processing and distribution of fish and fishery products should be carried out in a manner which will maintain the nutritional value, quality and safety of the products, reduce waste and minimize negative impacts on the environment.

High priority is given in the Code to consultation and effective participation of all interested stakeholders in decision-making, development of laws and policies and their implementation. Emphasis is also given to awareness raising, education and training.

6.13 States should, to the extent permitted by national laws and regulations, ensure that decision making processes are transparent and achieve timely solutions to urgent matters. States, in accordance with appropriate procedures, should facilitate consultation and the effective participation of industry, fish-workers, environmental and other interested organizations in decision making with respect to the development of laws and policies related to fisheries management, development, international lending and aid.

6.16 States, recognising the paramount importance to fishers and fish-farmers of understanding the conservation and management of the fishery resources on which they depend, should promote awareness of responsible fisheries through education and training. They should ensure that fishers and fish-farmers are involved in the policy formulation and implementation process, also with a view to facilitating the implementation of the Code.

International trade of aquaculture products continues to grow in importance. The Code clearly emphasizes the role of existing international trade agreements and highlights the important requirements for States to prevent the occurrence of negative impacts on trade, environment and societal demands.

6.14 International trade in fish and fishery products should be conducted in accordance with the principles, rights and obligations established in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement and other relevant international agreements. States should ensure that their policies, programmes and practices related to trade in fish and fishery products do not result in obstacles to this trade, environmental degradation or negative social, including nutritional, impacts.

The importance of aquaculture development and the potential benefits of aquaculture are well reflected in the General Principles of the Code. However, there is also a call for due consideration of environmental and social issues which may be associated with the development of aquaculture.

6.19 States should consider aquaculture, including culture-based fisheries, as a means to promote diversification of income and diet. In so doing, States should ensure that resources are used responsibly and adverse impacts on the environment and on local communities are minimized.

2.2.4 CCRF Article 9 – Aquaculture Development

Article 9 of the Code contains provisions relating to aquaculture, including culture-based fisheries. Article 9 is divided into four sub-sections, which refer to responsible development both in areas of national jurisdiction (9.1) as well as within trans-boundary aquatic ecosystems (9.2), to the use of genetic resources (9.3), and to responsible practices at the production level (9.4). The full text of Article 9 can be found in Appendix 1 to this paper (see also FAO Fisheries Department, 1997).

Specifically, this Article includes requirements for appropriate legal and administrative frameworks, which are to provide for an "enabling environment" for the sustainable development of aquaculture (CCRF 9.1.1). Responsible development and management of aquaculture is emphasized, with special reference to advance evaluation of environmental effect, i.e. the requirements for environmental impact assessments and regular monitoring, which should be based on best available scientific information (CCRF 9.1.2 and 9.1.5). States are encouraged to produce aquaculture development strategies, to allow for appropriate use of resources shared by aquaculture and other activities, as well as to ensure avoidance of negative effects on the livelihood of local communities (CCRF 9.1.3 and 9.1.4).

With a perspective of addressing trans-boundary issues, the Code invites States to collect, share and disseminate data related to their aquaculture, and encourages co-operation on planning for aquaculture development at national and various international levels (CCRF 9.2.4). Special emphasis is given to development of appropriate mechanisms to monitor the impacts of inputs which are utilized in aquaculture including, for example, feeds, stocked organisms, equipment, chemicals, etc. (CCRF 9.2.5).

The selection, use, propagation, and movements of species is prominently addressed in the Code (a number of provisions under 9.2. and 9.3) and precautionary measures, such as the implementation of appropriate international and national codes of practice (CCRF 9.3.2 and 9.3.3), are advocated to avoid adverse effects on endemic biological diversity, as well as to prevent impacts of disease outbreaks. States are called on to promote steps to minimize adverse genetic, disease and other effects of escaped-farmed fish on wild fish (CCRF 9.3.1).

At the farm and local level (see CCRF 9.4.), the potential benefits of sustainable aquaculture development are well recognized, and States are called to promote responsible practices in support of rural communities and producers (CCRF 9.4.1). Enabling the participation of fish farmers is advocated in the development of appropriate practices. There is significant scope for assisting producers through appropriate human resource development activities, including training, extension and capacity building in general.

Other recommendations relate, in particular, to responsible selection and use of appropriate feeds, feed additives and fertilizers, including manures (9.4.3). Emphasis is also given to effective fish health management including safe use of chemicals (9.4.4). Provision CCRF 9.4.5 calls for the regulation of the use of chemicals which are harmful to humans and the environment. Avoidance of harmful effects on both human health and the environment are also the targets of provisions 9.4.6 which requires the judicious disposal of potentially hazardous wastes and 9.4.7 which demands good practices before and during harvesting, in order to ensure food safety, good quality and improved value of aquaculture products.

2.2.5 The Code and Integrated Coastal Area Management (CCRF Article 10)

It should be noted that the Code’s provisions on Integrated Coastal Area Management (CCRF Article 10; see also FAO, 1996b) will also have a bearing on aquaculture in general, and on shrimp culture in particular. Very broadly, these provisions recommend that the integration of fisheries (and aquaculture) into coastal area management should occur through the formulation of management plans, the provision and enforcement of appropriate environmental legislation, a transparent consultative process, and through monitoring the post development impact. In the coastal management process, fisheries and aquaculture agencies should participate in decisions concerning the following:

Fisheries and aquaculture agencies and sector representatives should also be full partners in interagency and interdisciplinary fora. CCRF Article 10 calls on States to ensure that representatives of the fisheries and aquaculture sector and fishing communities are consulted in the decision-making processes related to coastal area management and development.

2.2.6 The Code and Post-Harvest Practices and Trade (CCRF Article 11)

CCRF Article 11 deals with post-harvest practices and trade, and is also relevant to aquaculture. Responsible fish utilization is one of the main chapters of this article, claiming the consumer's' right to safe, wholesome and unadulterated fish and fishery products (see also FAO, 1998d). It refers to the work of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission and calls on States to promote the implementation of quality standards agreed therein. Those involved in the processing and marketing of fish and fishery products are encouraged to reduce post-harvest losses and waste, to improve the use of by-catch to the extent that this is consistent with responsible fisheries management practices and to use resources such as water and energy, in particular wood, in an environmentally sound manner. The manufacture of value-added fishery products by developing countries is advocated and States are requested to ensure that domestic and international trade in fishery products accord with sound conservation and management practices. This latter remark points towards the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Convention can limit, regulate and prohibit trade in these species and products therefrom if they are listed in one of the Annexes.

During the consultations leading to the CCRF, there was a debate of the FAO membership which was related to the remaining two chapters of Article 11 (Responsible International Trade, and Laws and Regulations relating to Fish Trade), and which was strongly influenced by the intention not to create clauses which would contrast with provisions issued under the Agreements leading to the Establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to make it clear that the formulation of trade rules is the prerogative of the WTO. The Code also states that policies and practices related to the promotion of international fish trade and export production should not result in environmental degradation or adversely impact the nutritional rights and needs of people for whom fish is critical to their health and well-being and for whom other comparable sources of food are not readily available or affordable.

According to the Code, laws, regulations and administrative procedures applicable to international fish trade should be transparent, as simple as possible, comprehensible and, when appropriate, based on scientific evidence. They should be reviewed periodically and simplified without jeopardizing their effectiveness. In cases where regulations are changed, sufficient time should be allowed for preparing the implementation of the Code and consultation with affected countries would be desirable. In this connection the Code stipulates that due consideration be given to requests from developing countries for temporary derogation from obligations.

In summing up, the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries was adopted by FAO Member Governments in 1995 and is considered as the practical foundation on which to establish sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the future. The Code’s structure and its different components correspond roughly to different groups of stakeholders (fishermen, managers, processors, traders, fish farmers and scientists). The FAO Fisheries Department has been producing a number of Technical Guidelines to assist those concerned in the implementation and adaptation of the recommendations of the Code of Conduct (FAO, 1996a,b, 1997, 1998d). Such guidelines could be complemented as required by specific technical protocols, codes of practice, instruction manuals, best management practices, etc.

3. Recent and On-going FAO Activities and Assistance

3.1 The FAO Bangkok Consultation on Policies for Sustainable Shrimp Culture and follow-up and related activities

The principal objective of the Consultation was to contribute to the preparation of guidelines containing policy options and methodologies for government policy-makers and, especially planners, to develop an appropriate incentive structure and regulatory and decision-making framework for the development of sustainable shrimp culture. The guidelines are in support of the implementation of the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries including relevant provisions contained in its Article 9 "Aquaculture Development", and may facilitate the development of voluntary self-regulatory schemes implemented by farmer groups or industry associations.

The Consultation, held in December 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand, was attended by government delegates and observers from 12 countries of Asia and America accounting for about 90 % of the global production of cultured shrimp and including major consuming countries. Observers from 5 inter-governmental organizations and from 4 international NGOs also attended.

The main outcomes of the Consultation (FAO, 1998b) were produced in three working groups which addressed (1) the legal, institutional and consultative framework for sustainable shrimp culture, (2) planning and regulatory methods and tools and economic incentive schemes for sustainable shrimp culture, and (3) development of voluntary codes of practice for sustainable shrimp culture.

The Consultation produced a broad consensus that sustainable shrimp culture is practised and is a desirable and achievable goal, which should be pursued. When practised in a sustainable fashion, shrimp culture is an acceptable means of achieving such varied national goals as food production, employment and generation of foreign exchange.

Achievement of sustainable shrimp culture is dependent on effective government policy and regulatory actions, as well as the co-operation of industry in utilizing sound technology in its planning, development and operations. Noting that appropriate government responsibilities are outlined in Article 9 of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the Consultation recommended a range of desirable principles to be followed in the establishment of legal, institutional and consultative frameworks and regulatory policies for sustainable shrimp culture. It also noted that the Code provided an accepted baseline for the development of additional codes or guidelines applicable to shrimp culture.

3.1.1 Legal, Institutional and Consultative Framework for Sustainable Shrimp Culture

The Consultation recommended principles and elements to be provided for in legislation relating to coastal aquaculture, including shrimp culture. In making these recommendations, the Consultation noted that implementation of these principles and elements will have to take place in a manner appropriate to the individual situations and circumstances. These principles and elements are summarized below.

Governments should have a legal framework, which applies specifically to coastal aquaculture including shrimp culture. Given the complexity of the legal and institutional issues involved, governments should opt for a single comprehensive new or amended coastal aquaculture law including provisions extracted from existing laws. Where this is not feasible, governments should ensure the insertion within each existing law or regulation of clear provisions specific to coastal aquaculture. Before deciding whether a new legislation is necessary, or existing legislation should be amended, governments should collect, study and analyse existing laws and regulations, which are likely to apply to coastal aquaculture.

In the process of drafting a legal framework for coastal aquaculture, including shrimp culture, governments should have regard to the following principles:

Desirable contents of a coastal aquaculture legislation include, inter alia, the following:

Governments should ensure that an effective institutional framework at local and national level, as appropriate, be established for sustainable coastal aquaculture development and management. Where possible, governments should envisage the establishment of a single aquaculture management authority, which would be responsible for the development and management of coastal aquaculture and deal with all issues relating to this activity. Where a single aquaculture management authority cannot be created, Governments should set up an appropriate administrative framework with the view to ensure a co-ordinated development and management of sustainable coastal aquaculture.

Because there is a need to provide for laws and regulations which are practical and capable of enforcement, Governments should set forth, as appropriate, monitoring and inspection schemes as well as appropriate effective sanctions for violations and non compliance with relevant legal measures in force.

3.1.2 Planning and Regulatory Methods and Tools and Economic Incentive Schemes for Sustainable Shrimp Culture

The Consultation made a number of recommendations on the development planning and management of shrimp culture as summarized below:

3.1.3 Development of Voluntary Codes of Practice for Sustainable Shrimp Culture

The Consultation concluded that codes of conduct, codes of practice and guidelines all have useful purpose and should be encouraged by FAO and others at various levels, e.g. local and national, and for various sectors, e.g. production, processing, input supplies, etc.. Voluntary codes can be useful instruments for reduction of government costs, to promote efficiencies, to provide protection and assurance to consumers and to producers alike, and most important, to help achieve sustainable operations. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, particularly in its sections pertaining to aquaculture, provides an accepted baseline for development of additional codes or guidelines applicable to shrimp culture.

Contents of voluntary codes will vary depending on the objective of the developing entity. Codes appropriately could include:

3.1.4 Specific Reporting by Governments on Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in Respect of Sustainable Shrimp Culture

The Consultation recommended that FAO specifically request governments of countries engaged in shrimp culture to report on progress in implementing the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in relation to shrimp culture activities to the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) at its next and subsequent sessions. This is seen as a means of encouraging the use of the Code to achieve more quickly full sustainability and to maximize the benefits of shrimp culture. In this regard, FAO was requested to develop appropriate criteria and indicators.

3.2 Ad-hoc Expert Meeting on Indicators and Criteria of Sustainable Shrimp Culture, Rome, 28-30 April 1998

In pursuance of the above recommendation, FAO held an ad-hoc expert group meeting (FAO, 1998c). The participants included government experts involved in planning and management of shrimp culture, academics with broad experience in the sustainability issues of shrimp culture and serving as consultants to important industry and environmental NGOs, and experts from three inter-governmental organizations including FAO.

The meeting noted that indicators must be practical and cost-effective, and ideally integrated within existing data collection programmes; this usually called for a small number of well-designed indicators which are clearly linked to specific criteria, and which have properly defined objectives.

The meeting prioritized and prepared a recommended short-list of the criteria and indicators of sustainable shrimp fisheries, which could form the basis for regular reporting by countries to COFI. The indicators are multi-disciplinary and far-reaching covering ecosystem and biophysical, and social, and legal and institutional aspects of shrimp culture. However, the meeting stressed that these criteria and indicators related to the national level and did not encompass farm-level and local-level indicators, which were inappropriate for the envisaged reporting exercise. It also noted that the regular collation of these indicators would greatly benefit the planning and management of shrimp culture development in the countries.

The meeting concluded that it would be premature at this stage to request governments to report actual data on those indicators to the next session of COFI, 15-19 February 1999. Instead, it elaborated a questionnaire to allow governments to review and comment on the recommended indicators and on their present and future ability to acquire the related data and information. Moreover, the meeting decided that in this questionnaire, governments should be given the opportunity to indicate the nature of assistance deemed desirable to adopt a comprehensive statistical system for their shrimp culture sub-sectors in view of the inadequacies of many existing systems and of the high socio-economic importance and specific management and development requirements of shrimp culture.

3.3 Summary of Results of Survey Among Governments of Producing Countries of Cultured Shrimp

The questionnaire elaborated by the ad-hoc expert meeting was sent by FAO to 30 governments of producing countries of cultured shrimp selected on the basis of a reported production of cultured shrimp in 1996 of above 100 tons. As of end January 1999, 11 replies were received representing countries with a reported cumulative production of cultured shrimp in 1996 of 465000 tons, equal to about 53 percent of total global production. The pertinent survey results are summarized below according to major sustainability issues associated with shrimp culture development.

3.3.1 Provisions of coastal zone planning, legislation and implementation and laws and regulations applicable to shrimp culture in place or planned

The integration of shrimp culture into coastal zone development planning and management is receiving increasing attention in government policy and related legislation and general and technical guidelines for shrimp culture. Planning and management are facilitated by the existence of shrimp farmers’ and industry organizations. On an average, a larger percentage of farmers are organized in central and south American countries because of the smaller number of farms when compared with Asian countries. No difficulties were encountered by governments to respond to the questions listed under this heading except for the percentage of farmers who are organized in co-operatives or associations in some instances.

3.3.2 Requirements for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and their provisions

Nearly all responding governments require environmental impact assessments for the setting-up of shrimp culture farms under certain conditions relating usually to their size and intended locality; these conditions vary greatly. Governments commonly maintain records of the numbers and sizes of farms for which EIAs were undertaken.

3.3.3 Farm licensing requirements and percentage of total farms subject to licensing and actually licensed

All responding governments either presently (9) or in future (2) require shrimp farms to be authorized and licensed. The issue of a license is commonly subject to certain conditions being met. Licensing registers are an important source of basic data on farm size, location, ownership and other details. A difficulty faced by governments is the existence of unlicensed farms whose number is significant in some instances. This fact undermines the planning and management ability of governments and is a cause for incomplete data.

3.3.4 Benefits of shrimp culture, including production, foreign exchange and employment

Nearly all responding governments have provided data on the production and exported quantity and value of cultured shrimp as well as on the number and size distribution of shrimp farms. About half of the responses also included information on employment but only a few reported on average daily earnings in shrimp farming.

3.3.5 Feeding efficiency

Half of the responding governments provided information on the production, use and trade of pellet feed but only one quarter was able to supply data on the quantity of fish meal and fish oil used in the imported and domestically produced pellet feed.

3.3.6 Effects of shrimp virus or other diseases on farmed shrimp production

Most of the responding governments (7) have in place a reporting system on shrimp disease and half have legislation on fish health certification and quarantine.

3.3.7 Relative use of hatchery and wild post larvae seed stocks

Most responses (8) included data on the number of shrimp post larvae produced in domestic hatcheries and some replies (4) included data on trade in shrimp larvae.

3.3.8 Appropriate use of chemicals and public health (food safety)

Systems of product quality control measures in shrimp processing plants are in place in most of the surveyed countries. None of the responding governments has produced and instituted guidelines on the use of antibiotics in shrimp culture, and none collects data on the domestic use of medicated feeds (i.e. containing antibiotics).

3.3.9 Management of mangroves

More than half of the responding governments (6) reported that during recent years no new shrimp farms were established in mangrove areas and that none of the existing farms expanded its activities into mangrove areas. Two governments responded that such new developments and expansions have taken place and one government was able to provide data on the location and extension of the affected area. Whilst conversion of mangroves for shrimp culture is generally not permitted by governments, this prohibition cannot be fully enforced in all instances.

Several governments (6) were able to provide information on mangrove conversions by other economic sectors while one government provided data on the actual extent of such conversions.

Four governments reported the existence of mangrove management programmes in their countries of which two included the rehabilitation and replanting of mangroves in areas which had been in prior use for shrimp culture.

3.3.10 Shrimp culture research

Except for two, none of the responding governments was able to specify the expenditures incurred in public and private shrimp culture research. In many instances, public expenditures for shrimp culture research cannot be separately identified. Further, governments have in general no direct access to information on shrimp culture research expenditures by private companies.

3.3.11 Concluding remarks on the survey

The observed response rate of about one third in terms of numbers of governments and about one half in terms of coverage of global production of cultured shrimp is very satisfactory for this kind of survey. The response rate might have been even higher if more time had been given to governments to complete the questionnaire. Moreover, the format of the questionnaire could be further improved to facilitate its completion as well as the subsequent stages of data processing and analysis.

The responses received indicate that the scope and coverage of data collection are improving as governments become more involved in shrimp culture management through licensing and regulatory measures including provisions for environmental impact assessments. The information systems on shrimp culture, however, vary widely, partly reflecting the much greater difficulty of data collection in situations where shrimp culture is conducted by large numbers of small farmers as observed especially in Asia but also in some areas of Central and South America.

The survey results indicate that responding governments regularly collect at present, or have firm plans to do so in the near future, data on many of the pertinent environmental issues associated with shrimp culture. A few aspects may need more attention, however, such as the use of chemicals. Information on the social and economic impact of shrimp culture can be partly inferred from aggregate data on production, turn over, and on farm ownership and size distribution which are often readily available, though usually only for licensed farms. However, based on such aggregate data little can be said about the socio-economic impacts at village level.

In some situations, a major cause for incomplete data arises from unlicensed shrimp farming. This problem should become smaller as countries upgrade their shrimp culture management and enforcement capacity and capabilities. Such upgrading is taking place at the behest of both governments and the shrimp culture industry itself.

From the responses it can be inferred that there continues to be a significant need for support to capacity building both in the public and private sector with a view to enhance the information base on various aspects of shrimp culture to better manage this sector and to improve the planning of future developments as part of integrated coastal area management programmes.

As two-thirds of the governments did not respond, no firm conclusion has emerged from the survey on the desirability and practicality of a regular reporting by producing countries of cultured shrimp to the FAO Committee on Fisheries.

3.4 Outcome of the 23rd Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, Rome, Italy, 15-19 February 1999, as related to Shrimp Culture

Only few countries referred specifically in their interventions to shrimp culture in COFI 1999. The primary reason was the very heavy agenda and severe time constraint, which the 23rd Session of COFI faced. Governments were required to consider and adopt three international plans of action, report on progress in the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and comment on certain highly debated issues such as eco-labelling of fish and fishery products. As a consequence, shrimp culture is not specifically mentioned in the meeting report (FAO, in press). However, it can be inferred from the report that governments do not wish to report in separate surveys or questionnaires on specific issues such as shrimp culture; instead all reporting related to progress in the implementation of the Code of Conduct including related action plans should be done within one biannual survey.

It may be of interest to note that issues related to Sustainable Aquaculture Development and the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries were also discussed during the recent Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries4 , which was held during 10-11 March 1999 in Rome at FAO Headquarters.

3.5 FAO Asia Regional Technical Co-operation Project (TCP/RAS/6714): Assistance to Safe Trans-boundary Movement of Live Aquatic Animals

3.5.1 Background

The Articles 9.3.2 and 9.3.3 of the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries respectively state that "States should cooperate in the elaboration, adoption and implementation of international codes of practice and procedures for introductions and transfers of aquatic organisms" and "States should, in order to minimize risks of disease transfer and other adverse effects on wild and cultured stocks, encourage adoption of appropriate practices in the genetic improvement of broodstocks, the introduction of non-native species, and in the production, sale and transport of eggs, larvae or fry, broodstock or other live materials. States should facilitate the preparation and implementation of appropriate national codes of practice and procedures to this effect" (FAO, 1995). In order to facilitate development of national codes of practice on health certification and quarantine for aquatic animals and animal products, as a respond to the requests made by the FAO member countries, the Fisheries Department of FAO embarked upon an activity to develop a global document on Practical Guidelines for the Responsible Movement (Introduction and Transfer) of Aquatic Organisms.

Owing to the seriousness of the recent outbreaks of disease in Asian aquaculture and the significance of the losses incurred, the Asia regional importance of aquatic animal health management and the role of aquatic animal quarantine has simultaneously been recognized by NACA, the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific (NACA, 1996). On the request of their 15 member countries, NACA Governing Council has recommended the drafting and adoption of regional guidelines for health certification and quarantine of aquatic animals in the Asia-Pacific region. Responding to needs for the development and adoption of minimum aquatic animal health certification and quarantine guidelines and procedures for the Asian region, and the recommendation of NACA Governing Council, FAO in collaboration with NACA launched a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) project in early 1998. The governments participating in the development of these technical guidelines include: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea (R.O.), Korea (D.P.R.), Lao (P.D.R.), Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. While these guidelines are drafted for the above 21 participating governments, they are also consistent with international legislation and agreements. Thus, they should be applicable not only to both participating and non-participating countries in Asia, but also to many countries in other parts of the world.

3.5.2 Purpose

The purpose of the guidelines is to assist countries and territories in the Asian region with the responsible international and within country movement of live aquatic animals. The technical guidelines are intended to facilitate trade and movement of aquatic species within and between regions with minimal or no intra- and international transfers/introductions of pathogens. It is also specifically provided to assist countries, territories and governments in Asia in the implementation of relevant measures contained in FAO's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and other relevant international agreements, where applicable to the region, including the OIE (Office International des Epizooties) and WTO/SPS (World Trade Organization/Sanitary Phytosanitary Agreement) measures. A comprehensive information system on aquatic animals pathogens and quarantine (Aquatic Animal Pathogen and Quarantine Information System - AAPQIS) is also being established in Asia, as a regional chapter of a global information system. FAO will extend this information system (AAPQIS) to the other regions of the world as an attempt to bring together inter-regional co-operation on aquatic animal quarantine and health certification (Subasinghe and Arthur, 1997; Subasinghe, et. al. 1998)

The development of these technical guidelines has taken into consideration a) the different social, economic and environmental circumstances, b) highly diverse infrastructure, trained manpower, and institutional capabilities, c) large number of aquatic animal species under culture, d) diverse taxa of pathogens, and e) markedly differing reasons for movement of live aquatic animals that exist in different countries of Asia, although differing levels of risk of transfer of pathogens are imposed by such movements. In the context of these technical guidelines, the role of quarantine and health certification is to reduce the risks arising from the entry, establishment and spread of pathogens, pests, and disease-carrying and disease-causing organisms to a manageable level with the view to protect animal, plant and human life within the region. Quarantine and health certification should also serve to protect living aquatic resources, the natural aquatic environment and aquatic biodiversity, as well as to support the movement of aquatic animals, to protect trade, and avoid unjustifiable trade barriers. These technical guidelines have been developed following careful consideration of a set of Guiding Principles, agreed up-on by the national delegates from twenty three Asian countries, and representatives from a number of national, regional, and international agencies and organisations taking part in this endeavour (Humphrey, et. al. 1997).

3.5.3 Current status

The Project is ongoing, and several Governments, international, regional, and national agencies are providing further financial and technical assistance to the project. A group of Asia Regional Technical Experts, in consultation with the appointed National Coordinators, and with assistance from a group of International Experts, are working towards achieving the above mentioned objectives. A series of training programmes on aquatic animal health certification, quarantine, diseases diagnosis, risk assessment, and surveillance are being conducted at national and sub- regional level in several countries to develop human capacity and also to assist the project countries in developing envisioned National Health Management Strategies.

The project offers considerable opportunities for inter-regional co-operation between shrimp producing regions, especially between Asia and the Americas. The lessons learned from the Asia Regional Project could well serve the current Latin American situation, as one of the concerned subjects which has been continuously discussed and interventions sorted is the control of shrimp viral epizootics. Discussions are underway between institutions and experts in Asia and several Latin American countries which have been affected by recent shrimp disease outbreaks as to how an effective South-South Co-operation Programme could be developed to share regional experience and to develop an inter-regional programme to reduce the risk of disease in shrimp aquaculture.

3.5.4 Assistance to individual countries

FAO has been assisting several countries over the last four years, through technical cooperation programme projects to minimize the occurrence of disease epizootics in shrimp farms by formulating and implementing a practical shrimp health management programme which includes training, extension, capacity building, and policy development to make coastal shrimp culture environmentally friendly and sustainable. They include Bangladesh, China, and Sri Lanka. The projects provided technical and limited financial assistance to those countries to develop experimental/demonstration units to evaluate the feasibility of alternate farming strategies such as recirculation and treatment systems, semi closed- or closed-water systems, and crop rotation with high value fish species, and to train farmers on alternate pond/water management systems. Establishment of effective training and extension services, improvement of shrimp disease diagnostic capabilities at state and private sector levels, and development of human capacity has also been addressed.

Identification of sustainable level of intensification of coastal shrimp culture, assisting the farmers to learn/understand basic concepts of health management and environmental friendly shrimp culture through development of extension programmes, collection and analyzes of epidemiological data on shrimp diseases to ascertain the causes of disease epizootics, also included in those packages.

In many cases, FAO also provided assistance to review the existing regulations on aquaculture and allied disciplines, with a view to providing recommendations to control the proliferation of shrimp farms and also to protect the industry from unforeseen disasters such as viral epizootics. Advise on environmental management (including selection, allocation, and protection) of sites potentially suitable for shrimp farming development has also been provided with a view to developing necessary guidelines to ensure the sector sustainability.

It is evident from the post project implementation production figures and evaluation data that these programmes have contributed substantially to improve the shrimp health situation in those countries.

3.6 Assistance in the development of national Codes of Practice, Technical Guidelines and "Best Management Practices" for Sustainable Shrimp Culture

In the context of a development project supported by FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), technical assistance has been provided to government authorities as well as private sector representatives in the development of a Code of Practice for Shrimp Farming in Malaysia. The draft of this code of practice was discussed and improved during the project’s final National Workshop on Aquaculture Rules and Codes of Practice, held in June 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Likewise, the development of National Codes of Practice for Sustainable Shrimp Culture has been discussed by representatives of government, private sector and other stakeholders, during recent technical workshops in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as organized within the context of FAO technical assistance projects.

A project proposal entitled Technical Guidelines and Capacity Building for the Application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries to Shrimp Aquaculture (Phase I), developed jointly by staff of the FAO and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), has received support by the Governing Council and Technical Advisory Committee of NACA, and has been submitted to a number of potentially interested donor agencies, as well as to government authorities of a number of Asian countries some of which have already expressed strong interest and commitment for this project.

In addition, FAO and NACA are actively participating in and supporting a number of international research initiatives which are aimed at identifying "Best Management Practices for Sustainable Shrimp Culture". FAO is planning to organize a global expert meeting on best management practices in shrimp culture, in order to provide the opportunity for the various international and national initiatives to present and discuss their findings in an open forum of experts and stakeholders interested in sustainable shrimp culture development. The dates for this expert meeting are not yet fixed, but it is expected that the meeting will be held in early 2001.

Major aquaculture development trends including key issues in policy development and technological innovations in aquaculture, trade of aquaculture products, and financing of aquaculture developments, will be presented and discussed at the forthcoming Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium, which is a global conference being organized by the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific (NACA) and FAO, and which will be held on 20-25 February 2000, also in Bangkok. The conference prospectus can be retrieved at:

http://naca.fisheries.go.th/millennium

Acknowledgements

The FAO Fisheries Department is grateful to the Organizers of the Fifth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture for providing the opportunity to FAO experts to present their experiences and current activities in the realm of sustainable aquaculture development, particularly shrimp culture. We hope very much that this contribution will further assist all those efforts and persons involved in aquaculture production, management and trade of aquaculture products. Comments on this paper as well as suggestions for further cooperation are most welcome. The authors would also like to express their appreciation to Dr Michael Phillips of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) for his continuous assistance and cooperation which - in one way or another - have benefitted many of the activities described in this paper.

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Appendix 1

ARTICLE 9 - AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

9.1 Responsible development of aquaculture, including culture-based fisheries, in areas under national jurisdiction

9.1.1 States should establish, maintain and develop an appropriate legal and administrative framework, which facilitates the development of responsible aquaculture.

9.1.2 States should promote responsible development and management of aquaculture, including an advance evaluation of the effects of aquaculture development on genetic diversity and ecosystem integrity, based on the best available scientific information.

9.1.3 States should produce and regularly update aquaculture development strategies and plans, as required, to ensure that aquaculture development is ecologically sustainable and to allow the rational use of resources shared by aquaculture and other activities.

9.1.4 States should ensure that the livelihoods of local communities, and their access to fishing grounds, are not negatively affected by aquaculture developments.

9.1.5 States should establish effective procedures specific to aquaculture to undertake appropriate environmental assessment and monitoring with the aim of minimizing adverse ecological changes and related economic and social consequences resulting from water extraction, land use, discharge of effluents, use of drugs and chemicals, and other aquaculture activities.

9.2 Responsible development of aquaculture including culture-based fisheries within trans-boundary aquatic ecosystems

9.2.1 States should protect trans-boundary aquatic ecosystems by supporting responsible aquaculture practices within their national jurisdiction and by co-operation in the promotion of sustainable aquaculture practices.

9.2.2 States should, with due respect to their neighbouring States, and in accordance with international law, ensure responsible choice of species, siting and management of aquaculture activities which could affect trans-boundary aquatic ecosystems.

9.2.3 States should consult with their neighbouring States, as appropriate, before introducing non-indigenous species into trans-boundary aquatic ecosystems.

9.2.4 States should establish appropriate mechanisms, such as databases and information networks to collect, share and disseminate data related to their aquaculture activities to facilitate co-operation on planning for aquaculture development at the national, sub-regional, regional and global level.

9.2.5 States should cooperate in the development of appropriate mechanisms, when required, to monitor the impacts of inputs used in aquaculture.

9.3 Use of aquatic genetic resources for the purposes of aquaculture including culture-based fisheries

9.3.1 States should conserve genetic diversity and maintain integrity of aquatic communities and ecosystems by appropriate management. In particular, efforts should be undertaken to minimize the harmful effects of introducing non-native species or genetically altered stocks used for aquaculture including culture-based fisheries into waters, especially where there is a significant potential for the spread of such non-native species or genetically altered stocks into waters under the jurisdiction of other States as well as waters under the jurisdiction of the State of origin. States should, whenever possible, promote steps to minimize adverse genetic, disease and other effects of escaped farmed fish on wild stocks.

9.3.2 States should cooperate in the elaboration, adoption and implementation of international codes of practice and procedures for introductions and transfers of aquatic organisms.

9.3.3 States should, in order to minimize risks of disease transfer and other adverse effects on wild and cultured stocks, encourage adoption of appropriate practices in the genetic improvement of broodstocks, the introduction of non-native species, and in the production, sale and transport of eggs, larvae or fry, broodstock or other live materials. States should facilitate the preparation and implementation of appropriate national codes of practice and procedures to this effect.

9.3.4 States should promote the use of appropriate procedures for the selection of broodstock and the production of eggs, larvae and fry.

9.3.5 States should, where appropriate, promote research and, when feasible, the development of culture techniques for endangered species to protect, rehabilitate and enhance their stocks, taking into account the critical need to conserve genetic diversity of endangered species.

9.4 Responsible aquaculture at the production level

9.4.1 States should promote responsible aquaculture practices in support of rural communities, producer organizations and fish farmers.

9.4.2 States should promote active participation of fish-farmers and their communities in the development of responsible aquaculture management practices.

9.4.3 States should promote efforts, which improve selection and use of appropriate feeds, feed additives and fertilizers, including manures.

9.4.4 States should promote effective farm and fish health management practices favouring hygienic measures and vaccines. Safe, effective and minimal use of therapeutants, hormones and drugs, antibiotics and other disease control chemicals should be ensured.

9.4.5 States should regulate the use of chemical inputs in aquaculture, which are hazardous to human health and the environment.

9.4.6 States should require that the disposal of wastes such as offal, sludge, dead or diseased fish, excess veterinary drugs and other hazardous chemical inputs does not constitute a hazard to human health and the environment.

9.4.7 States should ensure the food safety of aquaculture products and promote efforts, which maintain product quality and improve their value through particular care before and during harvesting and on-site processing and in storage and transport of the products.

 




1

This paper has been presented by Dr Rohana Subasinghe (FAO) at the Fifth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture; Aquaculture and the Environment: Together towards the New Millenium" (Quinto Simposio Centroamericano de Acuacultura. Acuacultura y Ambiente, Juntos hacia el Nuevo Milenio). 18-20 August 1999, San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This paper has already been published by the Organizers of the Fifth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture:

Barg, U. , R. Subasinghe, R. Willmann, K. Rana and M. Martinez, 1999. Pages: 64-81. In: B.W. Green, H.C. Clifford, M. McNamara and G.M. Montaño, Editors, V Central American Symposium on Aquaculture 18-20 August 1999, San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Asociación Nacional de Acuicultores de Honduras (ANDAH), Latin American Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS), and Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP), Choluteca, Honduras.

2

All correspondence on this paper should be directed to Mr Uwe Barg (FAO): uwe.barg@fao.org or Fax: 0039 0657053020

Please see other related FAO postings on Sustainable Shrimp Culture Development:
http://www.fao.org/fi/news/bkktcsm.asp

The Bangkok FAO Technical Consultation on Policies for Sustainable Shrimp Culture, Bangkok, Thailand, 8-11 December 1997

Report of the ad hoc Expert Meeting on Indicators and Criteria of Sustainable Shrimp Culture. Rome, Italy, 28-30 April 1998
http://www.fao.org/fi/faocons/shrimp/adhoc1.asp

3 This section on production trends has been contributed by K. Rana (FAO/FIDI). For further information on aquaculture data, including shrimp culture, see FAO’s FISHSTAT Plus
Aquaculture quantities 1984-1997: Data included in the dataset refer to: FAO Fisheries Circular N.815 Rev.11 (1999) "Aquaculture Production Statistics".

4 For further information on this Meeting, see:
http://www.fao.org/fi/meetings/minist/1999/default.asp, and in particular, http://www.fao.org/fi/meetings/minist/1999/dar.asp