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New FAO publications

Halwart, M. & M.V. Gupta (eds). 2004. Culture of fish in rice fields. FAO and The WorldFish Center. 83p.

Rice is presently grown in 113 countries. Rice farming also offers a suitable environment for the culture of fish and other aquatic organisms. This publication synthesizes the available information on the role that aquaculture can play in rice-based farming systems towards food security and poverty alleviation.

The review describes the history behind integrating aquaculture with different rice ecosystems, the various production systems in operation such as concurrent, rotational and alternate, the modifications needed to the fields in order to integrate fish with rice farming, and the agronomic and aquaculture management that is necessary. The benefits of integration to communities-economic and environmental are also described with reviews of the experiences from various countries.

The real impacts of rice-fish farming and its future potential in terms of improved income and nutrition are significant but generally underestimated and undervalued. Notable changes have taken place in pest management in rice farming, and in fish seed production and availability making this a particularly relevant moment for emphasizing the importance of rice-fish farming. There is considerable potential for rice-fish farming to expand further in many countries and to contribute substantially towards global food and nutritional security.

For further infornation please contact:

Matthias Halwart at FAO/HQ,

This publication can be downloaded at the following website:

Subasinghe R. & Lowther A. 2005. Towards improving global information on aquaculture. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 480, Rome, FAO, 2005. 170p.

To work towards improving information on global status and trends for aquaculture, in January 2004 the FAO Fisheries Department convened two meetings of international aquaculture experts. The first of the two meetings, the Expert Consultation on Improving Information on Status and Trends of Aquaculture, was held 20-23 January. The 16 experts, chosen for their technical expertise, included participants from five continents and a mix of government aquaculture officials, academic researchers, and representatives of producers associations and regional aquaculture organizations. The Expert Consultation approved a draft Strategy and Outline Plan for Improving Information on Status and Trends of Aquaculture. Following the Expert Consultation, the Working Group of Experts on the FAO Aquaculture Questionnaire "FISHSTAT AQ" met from January 24-26 to suggest improvements to the data collection form used by FAO in its annual inquiry to member countries for aquaculture statistics. They were asked to deliberate improvements, while keeping in mind the relevant recommendations of the preceding Expert Consultation. Many of the same experts participated in the Working Group, but additional participants representing national providers of data to FAO, as well as two survey research specialists in questionnaire design, took part in the Working Group.

These meetings are seen as the beginning of the parallel process to what has been done for status and trends reporting for capture fisheries. The outcome there was the adoption of the Strategy for Improving Status and Trends Reporting on Capture Fisheries, which has been formally agreed on and accepted by the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI). The process for aquaculture status and trends was envisioned to produce a similar Strategy document for the aquaculture sector. The draft Strategy for aquaculture, the reports of the two meetings, and background documents prepared for the meetings are contained in this volume. The background documents include an overview of current FAO procedures for collecting and reporting aquaculture statistics, a summary of the issues confronting attempts to improve data collection and reporting, and a collection of regional reviews in which countries have described their systems and strategies for the collection of aquaculture status and trends information.

For further details please contact:

Rohana Subasinghe at FAO/HQ,
or Alan Lowther (e-mail:

Franz, N. 2005. GLOBEFISH. Overview of Organic Markets: An opportunity for Aquaculture Products? FAO/GLOBEFISH Research Programme, Vol. 77. Rome, FAO. 2005. 102p.

This GLOBEFISH Research Programme covers the developments in the organic food sector in general and examines the potential for seafood products in particular. Organic seafood products are a sector which compared to other food products is still m its infancy. Organic aquaculture is described, covering standards, species, and products in the different producing countries. In this connection the possibilities and the major restraints are described. Ecolabelling based on sustainable capture fisheries is part of the analysis. The intention of the report is to assist producers in developing countries to take advantage of this niche market and be informed on basic requirements and trade channels in the dominant markets.

Administrative Secretary of GESAMP (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP) Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection). 2005. The new GESAMP: Science for Sustainable Oceans: A strategic vision for the IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection. London, IMO. 21p.

This strategic vision for the New GESAMP, "Science for Sustainable Oceans", sets out the path which GESAMP intends to take when providing authoritative, independent, interdisciplinary, scientific advice to organiza-tions and Governments to support the protection and sustainable use of the marine environment. It explains why GESAMP is needed as an interagency organ of the United Nations system, how GESAMP plans to engage with the users of its advice and the broader scientific community, how it achieves a more professional business approach to planning, management, work methods and delivery of its advice. It also informs on the organizational relationships in the New GESAMP, its output, participation and membership and gives a summarized 3-year budget for full implementation of this strategic vision.

Further details can be obtained by writing to Uwe Barg at FAO/HQ,

This publication can be downloaded in pdf at the following website:

FAO Report of the twenty-third session of the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission. 2005. Wierzba, Poland, 26 May-2 June 2004. (English/French). FAO Fisheries Report. No. 771. Rome, FAO. 2005. 43p.

The twenty-third session of the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC) was held in Wierzba, Poland, from 26 May to 2 June 2004, in concomitance with a Symposium on Aquaculture Development-Partnership between Science and Producer Associations. The session reviewed EIFAC’s activities since 2002 in the fields of fishery biology and management, aquaculture, protection of the aquatic resource, and social and economic issues. EIFAC revised and decided its future programme of work, and in particular the activities which should be carried out until the next session of the Commission in 2006. The twenty-fourth session will be preceded by a Symposium on Hydropower, Flood Control and Water Abstraction: Implications for Fish and Fisheries.

For further details, please contact: Devin Bartley at FAO/HQ,

FAO Report of the Workshop on the Feasibility of Establishing a Regional Cooperation Network for Aquaculture in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2005. Panama, Republic of Panama, 6-8 December 2004. (English/Spanish). FAO Fisheries Report. No. 773. Rome, FAO. 2005. 43p.

The workshop examined the status of aquaculture in Latin America and the Caribbean, witha focus on its contribution to economic and social development and the major difficulties itfaces. It also looked at previous occurrences of cooperation for aquaculture in the region with the presentation and analysis of a summary of past activities and mechanisms. The central issue placed before the workshop was the proposal to establish a new regionalcooperation network for aquaculture, based on a study carried out by FAO and additionalinformation on similar activities conducted by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (APEC) Fisheries Working Group and the Latin American Organization for Fisheries Development (OLDEPESCA). The workshop recommended the establishment of an intergovernmental cooperation network for aquaculture that would be open to all the countries of the Americas and would establish linkages with equivalent mechanisms in other regions. It identified key issues for the network’s attention, together with its possible structure and sources and modalities of financing. The agenda and list of participants are given in Appendixes A and B respectively. Appendixes C and D contain background documents prepared to facilitate discussion.

For further details, please contact:
Mr Jose Aguilar-Manjarrez at FAO/HQ,

FAO/Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central-Eastern Europe (NACEE). Report of the First Meeting of Directors of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central-Eastern Europe (NACEE). 2005. Szarvas, Hungary, 21-24 November 2004. (English/Russian). FAO Fisheries Report No. 774. Rome, FAO. 2005. 195p.

The First Meeting of Directors of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central-Eastern Europe (NACEE) took place in Szarvas, Hungary, from 21 to 24 November 2004, and was hosted by the Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI). The NACEE network membership currently involves 25 institutions from 13 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. During the meeting, representatives of 21 institutions from 12 countries presented their institutions, structure, programmes and activities. The objectives and expectations, basic functions, structure, organizational framework, networking mechanisms, contributions by NACEE members and next programme activities of NACEE were discussed and agreed by the participants. A Founding Document, formalizing the establishment of NACEE, was discussed and signed by the Directors of Member Institutions of NACEE. HAKI at Szarvas was confirmed as the Coordinating Institute of NACEE. During the meeting, NACEE Members were informed of, and invited to contribute to FAO/FIRI’s initiatives on the NASOs (National Aquaculture Sector Overviews) and the forthcoming regional and global reviews of aquaculture development trends. It was agreed that the Second Meeting of NACEE Directors should be organized in conjunction with the FAO/NACEE Expert Workshop for the Regional Review of Aquaculture Development Trends in Central and Eastern Europe, and that both meetings would be held from 5 to 9 September 2005 in Astrakhan, Russian Federation.

For further details please contact:

Uwe Barg at FAO/HQ,
or Peter Lengyel,
NACEE, Liaison Officer at HAKI

Roni P., Hanson K., Beechie T., Pess, G., Pollock M., & Bartley D. 2005. FAO Fisheries Habitat Rehabilitation for Inland Fisheries: Global review of effectiveness and guidance for rehabilitation of freshwater ecosystems. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 484, Rome, FAO. 2005. 116p.

The degradation of inland aquatic habitats through decades of human activities has lead to massive efforts to rehabilitate freshwater habitats for fisheries and aquatic resources in watersheds throughout the world. Many texts have been written on techniques for rehabilitation though no comprehensive worldwide review of the effectiveness of techniques has been undertaken. We reviewed published evaluations of freshwater habitat rehabilitation projects including studies on roads improvements and sediment reduction, riparian and floodplain rehabilitation, placement of habitat structures in lakes and streams, addition of nutrients to increase aquatic production, and other less common techniques. In particular, we summarize what is known about the effects of various techniques for restoring natural processes, improving habitat, and increasing fish and biotic production. Recommendations on limitations of techniques, which techniques are effective, as well as information on planning, prioritizing and monitoring rehabilitation projects are also provided.

Despite locating more than 330 studies on effectiveness as well as hundreds of other papers on rehabilitation, it was difficult to draw firm conclusions about many specific techniques because of the limited information provided on physical habitat, biota, and costs, as well as the short duration and scope of most published evaluations. However, techniques such as reconnection of isolated habitats, rehabilitation of floodplains, and placement of instream structures have proven effective for improving habitat and increasing local fish abundance under many circumstances. Techniques that restore processes, such as riparian rehabilitation, sediment reduction methods (road improvements), dam removal, and restoration of floods, also show promise, but may take years or decades before a change in fish or other biota is evident. Other techniques such as bank protection, beaver removal, and bank debrushing can produce positive effects for some species but more often produce negative impacts on biota or disrupt natural processes. Comparing the costeffectiveness of different types of rehabilitation techniques was not possible because few evaluations reported various costs or economic benefits; however, estimates of average costs for various techniques are provided. Monitoring and evaluations clearly need to be designed as part of the rehabilitation action and we discuss the key steps to consider when designing monitoring and evaluation of rehabilitation actions at various scales.

Similar to less comprehensive reviews of rehabilitation, our review demonstrates three key areas lacking in most rehabilitation projects: 1) adequate assessment of historic conditions, impaired ecosystem processes, and factors limiting biotic production; 2) understanding upstream or watershed-scale factors that may influence effectiveness of reach or localized rehabilitation; and 3) well designed and funded monitoring and evaluation. These are the same factors that consistently limit the ability of published studies to determine the success of a given technique at improving habitat conditions or fisheries resources. Finally, our review suggests that many habitat rehabilitation techniques show promise, but most have not received adequate planning, monitoring, or cost-benefit analysis.

Health management and biosecurity maintenance in white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) hatcheries in Latin America advertised in FAN 31 in English and FAN 32 in Spanish is now also available in Chinese. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 450. Rome, FAO. 2003. 64p,

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