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The future of mariculture: A regional approach for responsible development of marine farming in the Asia-Pacific Region

FAO/NACA/China Regional Workshop

Shenzhen/Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, P.R. China, 6–11 March 2006

Alessandro Lovatelli1

Aquaculture in the Southeast Asian region has been expanding steadily over the last few decades. The main forms of farming practices taken up by the private sector (both large commercial companies and smaller operators) have been mainly those, in terms of space usage, with farming infrastructures based on coastal land. One key example is coastal earth pond using brackish water for farming a variety of shrimp species and to a lesser extent finfish. The rapid expansion of the industry and the demand for more land space has reached a point where future land use will need to be much more carefully planned. This will hopefully (i) ensure the appropriate land allocation for different usage (agriculture, aquaculture, urban development, recreational activities, etc.) and (ii) a greater control on the environmental impact and monitoring of any given activity. The search for additional areas to expand the aquaculture industry as a whole and the identification of new farming species of commercial value to satisfy the growing local and export markets are pushing the sector in some countries to expand its activities in the sea, including further offshore where more space is available and where, to a lesser extent, competition is currently not so intense.

During the latest session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture (COFI-SCA), country Members have requested FAO to look into issues related to the sustainable development of coastal aquaculture and in particular mariculture. The FAO Fisheries Department through the Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service (FIRI) is collaborating with the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and Pacific (NACA) and the Government of PR China with regards to the preparation of a targeted workshop entitled “The future of mariculture: A regional approach for responsible development of marine farming in the Asia-Pacific Region”which will be organized in Guangdong Province from 6 to 11 March 2006. This workshop will assist the development of sustainable planning and management strategies in farming of the Asian seas.

The aim of this mariculture workshop is to bring together expertise from major producing countries in the Asian region to establish a collaborative research and development programme that will support responsible mariculture, and social and economic development among coastal communities in the Region. This is furthermore supported by a number of regional fishery organizations such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and its Member countries.

The expected outcomes from this workshop will include the: (i) identification of key issues, opportunities and constraints faced by the mariculture sector; (ii) identification of strategies required to address such key issues (i.e. better practices identified); (iii) establishing appropriate foundations for national and regional action programmes to implement such strategies (including national research and development initiatives; regional/national research and development partnerships working on key researchable issues; communications activities; education and training activities; market/fair trade opportunities/partnerships and investment opportunities identified).To support discussions during the workshop,a number of thematic reviews will be commissioned as follows: (i)Regional Review on Marine Aquaculture Products Demand, Trade and Markets, (ii)Regional Review on Livelihood Opportunities related to Mariculture Development,(iii)Regional Review on Existing and Potential Mechanisms for Technology Transfer, and (iv)Regional Review on Existing Major Mariculture Species and Farming Technologies.The workshop will also include two innovative consultation sessions: one to be held in a major fish market in Guangzhou to gather feedback from the private and public sectors on future fish demand and marketing in southern China; and one to be held in a major fish and mollusc farming centre in Guangdong for wide ranging discussions on future trends in production and farming in southern China. The location for the workshop in Guangdong is ideal because of China's long experience in mariculture development, and as the world's largest market for marine aquaculture products.

The outcome of the meeting will be reported in one of the next issues of FAN. Further details can be obtained by writing to:

Alessandro Lovatelli at FIRI:
e-mail: Alessandro.Lovatelli@fao.orgor
Michael Phillips at NACA
e-mail: Michael.Phillips@enaca.org

1 Alessandro Lovatelli
Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service,
FAO Fisheries Department, Rome

FAO Expert Workshop
“Global Review of Aquaculture Development Trends and Prospective Analysis of Future Aquaculture Development”
Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, P.R. China, 12–15 March 2006
As part of the Regular Programme activities of the Fisheries Department as well as a move towards implementing certain recommendations by the COFI's Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, this workshop is being convened to embark a global review of aquaculture development trends and prospective analysis of future aquaculture development. The global review and analysis will be based on seven Regional Aquaculture Reviews (see sections on Regional Aquaculture Reviews) and will consists of a number of chapters dealing with the following major subjects: (a) Characteristics and structure of the sector, (b) Production, species and values, (c) Economics and trade, (d) Contribution to food security, access to food, nutrition and food safety, (e) Environment and resources, (f) Legal, institutional and management aspects of the aquaculture sector, (f) Social impacts, employment and poverty reduction, and (g) Development trends. Invited experts (from Australia, China, Chile, India, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Philippines, Norway, South Africa, Uganda, UK, USA) were selected on the basis of their long experience and knowledge of the aquaculture sector and are expected to provide valuable contribution to the process.
For more details about the Global Aquaculture Review Workshop, please contact:
Rohana P. Subasinghe at FIRI
e-mail: Rohana.Subasinghe@fao.org

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