12-15 October 2004
FAO Headquarters, Rome
The Fifth Session of the Advisory Committee on Fisheries Research (AFCR) was held in Rome, Italy, from 12 to 15 October 2004. The Fifth Session was organized by Mr Ben Satia, Secretary of ACFR and attended by nine members of the Committee, members of the Secretariat and other officials of the Fisheries Department. The ACFR is the statutory body of FAO to advise the Director-General on research and research-related matters for fisheries and aquaculture. The agenda of the Fifth Session of AFCR include small-scale fisheries and human capacity development and a review of the FAO work programme, with a focus on inland fisheries and aquaculture and on fish utilization and trade. In the past, ACFR issues had been dominated by capture fisheries and marine fisheries issues.
A brief document, Aquaculture - How can species choice and domestication drive sustainable aquaculture development? was prepared as an information paper for consideration of the Fifth Session of AFCR. Relevant decisions and recommendations made by the Committee with respect to aquaculture and inland fisheries are provided below.
On Aquaculture, the Committee recommended that the Fisheries Department examine issues related to species choice in aquaculture, i.e. domestication processes, genetic improvement, and genetic conservation.
The Committee also recommended that FAO produce an authoritative and balanced review of the aquaculture sector, including commercial aquaculture, and the role of aquaculture in poverty reduction. The Committee stated that FAO needs to monitor and, in some circumstances, be involved in research that will address environmental and social impacts of aquaculture.
On Inland Fisheries, the Committee suggested that the Fisheries Department and regional fishery bodies dealing with inland fisheries should request better information from members on inland fisheries; that FAO should assist Members put in place appropriate data collection systems, especially in regards to lake and reservoir habitats.
The Committee identified the necessity to increase its focus on aquaculture related activities; and elaborated the terms of reference on the topic of Aquaculture: How can species choice and domestication drive sustainable aquaculture development?.
The Secretary of ACFR, Mr Ben Satia, has recently retired (see FAN 32) and Mr Ndiaga Gueye, (see next page) will become the new Secretary. Best wishes to them both.