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Status and potential of fisheries and aquaculture in Asia and the Pacific region

Derek Staples, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Production trends and contribution to Asia and the Pacific region

8. The world's production from capture fisheries is now about 95 million tonnes, 46.7 million tonnes coming from Asia and the Pacific region (49 percent). The world's aquaculture production, excluding aquatic plants, is now 45.5 million tonnes, of which 40.4 million tonnes come from Asia and the Pacific region (90 percent).

9. In Asia and the Pacific region, production from both capture fisheries and aquaculture has grown since 2002 (a modest 3 percent for capture fisheries and 12.5 percent for aquaculture, not including aquatic plants). In 2004, the region contributed 92.2 million tonnes. With the inclusion of aquatic plants, aquaculture in the region is now 54.3 million tonnes, which exceeds reported capture fisheries production. This huge production (and value) provides many opportunities for revenue generation, employment, and should contribute significantly to poverty reduction and increased food security.

10. The fisheries and aquaculture sector is of fundamental importance to Asia and the Pacific region. Direct effects can be seen at the national level, with the fisheries and aquaculture sector benefiting significantly from trade with major global import markets in France, Italy, Japan, Spain and USA. In terms of exports, China and Thailand are part of the top five, along with Norway, Peru, and USA. Within the APFIC region, many countries are net exporters, but China, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore are major net importers. Fisheries and aquaculture also have significant direct effects on the income, nutritional status and livelihoods of millions of people in the region.

11. There is very little information on employment, but some data are available for some countries as a result of census information. Overall, the sector is a very significant employer with Asia representing 87 percent of the world's total employment of fishers and fish farmers. There are 33 million people engaged in fishing (and the figure is not changing significantly) and 9.5 million fish farmers (this figure is increasing). Many of these activities are pursued on a part-time basis as part of a complex livelihood.

12. In terms of capture fisheries, the clear trend for marine waters is that production from the APFIC region (excluding China) peaked in the late 1980s followed by a slow decline (but with a slight recent increase). Production from inland waters rapidly increased in the 1990s, but there is evidence of levelling off in recent years in both China and the rest of the APFIC region. Six APFIC countries were among the top 10 producers in 2004; China remains the largest producer with a reported catch of 17.9 million tonnes.

13. Total production figures, however, mask what has really been happening. Production of pelagic species (species that live in the water column) peaked in the late 1980s and then declined and levelled off. Significantly, demersals (species that live on or near the bottom) peaked in the mid-1970s, declined and then levelled off and never returned to mid-1970s level. In the APFIC region, both small pelagic species like Japanese anchovy, and larger pelagics such as skipjack tuna dominate.

14. Unlike capture fisheries, aquaculture production is continuing to grow. There has been a steady increase in the APFIC region's production with a dramatic production increase reported for China. Eight APFIC member countries (including USA) are in the top 10 producing countries. In terms of value, China is less dominant, but still overwhelming. About 70 percent of Asia and the Pacific region's aquaculture is produced in China. The top five produced animal species in aquaculture in terms of tonnage remain carps, with tilapia ranking sixth and the white leg shrimp (L. vannamei) now seventh.

15. There are few systematic data related to the production and landing of low value/trash fish, but studies conducted by APFIC in five countries and an Advisory Council for Industrial Research (ACIAR) study in Viet Nam, indicates that across these six countries the volume is approximately 7 434 million tonnes. A weighted average across these countries suggests that low value/trash fish accounts for 25 percent of total catch.

Status of the fishery/aquaculture resources

16. Only a few countries in the region carry out regular stock assessments and use these in management. The reason for this is fairly obvious: given the hundreds of species, the diversity of gears and fisheries, and the enormity of the task, most countries simply don't have the capacity to do it. Some estimate maximum sustainable yield (MSY) based on aggregate data, but the reliability of this is questionable, especially when the estimates are based on fishery catch and effort data. Scientific surveys are one of the best sources of information and have been conducted in many areas of Asia, including India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. All show dramatic declines with current biomasses between six percent and thirty percent of the biomass recorded 20 to 30 years ago. An example from the Gulf of Thailand shows that with a reduction in fishing effort, total catch increases and, more importantly, profits increase. At the MSY, the catch and the profit are both greater. At the maximum economic yield (MEY) the catch is slightly less, but the profit is even greater because the overall cost of fishing is less. This type of data should be calculated and used to assist in the making of policy decisions, such as those concerning the implementation of vessel buyback schemes.

17. There are 65 large marine ecosystems (LMEs) worldwide, of which 20 are in the APFIC region. These can be characterized into 4 types.

18. Given this depleted status of many coastal ecosystems, interest is turning to offshore resources, especially tuna. However, all species, except skipjack are fully exploited or overexploited. For APFIC member countries, this means that they will have to compete with long distance fishing nations and neighbouring countries to be successful. This will also require membership of the increasing number of fishery management organizations and participation in arrangements that are being established to deal with tuna stocks.

19. Asian aquaculture is characterised by a flexible group of species that can be grown extensively through to intensively under a range of systems and differing market conditions. Mr Staples' presentation also covered a number of trends related to aquaculture production.

20. Carnivorous finfish production is on the rise because of increasing fish prices and better profit margins for this group of species. Production of marine finfish and freshwater carnivores is increasing rapidly as a result of their export potential and good domestic markets. New species, such as cobia, are making advances and there is interest in large-scale/offshore cage culture as coastal sites become limited and suffer from poor water quality. In terms of freshwater carnivorous fish, basa catfish culture is expanding in Viet Nam and is targeting export markets. Eel production is relatively stable, but requires elvers, which are a potential future constraint, particularly if from Europe. Production of other freshwater carnivores is also increasing and these are largely targeted at niche regional markets. Feeds remain a significant constraint for all carnivorous finfish production and the development of formulated feeds is a major need.

21. Omnivorous fish production is still increasing and carps still predominate, although tilapia continues to make gains as part of the industrialization and standardization of aquaculture commodities where there are export opportunities.

22. Crustacean production is dominated by shrimp and there has been a large-scale changeover from Penaeus monodon to introduced white leg shrimp (P. vannamei) largely as a result of access to specific pathogen free (SPF) stocks. However, there have been problems with declining prices, increasing trade measures (anti-dumping, residues etc. too). There are also emerging health problems as a result of poor control of SPF systems movement of broodstock. The development of P. Monodon SPF is in progress, but is not commercially viable yet. Other crustacean production includes freshwater prawn and, particularly, crab and lobster fattening, all of which are increasing. There are problems with seed supply and the use of fresh feeds.

23. Mollusc production in the region continues to expand. However, there are increasing site limitations and effects such as deterioration of coastal water quality in some areas. Molluscs are difficult to trade internationally because of the need to meet stringent sanitary and phytosanitary requirements. Most trade remains at the national level.

24. The production of aquatic plants, particularly the production of food algae in China, is increasing. The global demand for biopolymers is also driving development in new areas. The potential of algae for other non-food products offers a wide potential range of systems and products and it can be expected that this part of the sector will increase considerably.

Emerging issues

25. Mr Staples also highlighted two possible issues that could form the basis of further work for APFIC and a future focus of the next regional consultative forum meeting. These were illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and seafood safety and trade.

26. Most of the waters within the APFIC area of competence lie within the 200 mile Economic Exclusion Zones (EEZs) of member countries and, therefore, IUU is mostly IUU fishing by nationals in their own EEZ (using illegal gears or fishing in closed areas etc.) or IUU fishing by foreign vessels inside the EEZ (encroachment across borders or from the high seas). IUU fishing on the high seas, particularly in the Indian Ocean and the Western and Central Pacific, is also an issue but comes under the competence of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission (WPCFC).

27. Food safety and trade issues relate to both capture fisheries and aquaculture products. As a result of the globalization of trade, fish products are increasingly being inspected for chemical contaminants and residues, parasites and microbial contamination. Because of the greater scrutiny of traded products, there are now stringent sanitary and phytosanitary measures being put in place. Issues related to the labelling of products and the need for certification are increasingly demanding that more attention be paid to the pre-harvest quality of products. This will require more appropriate management of fisheries and aquaculture systems.

Future potential

28. The Global Outlook from the WorldFish Center (WFC) and the International Food Policy Research Institute showed an increased demand for fish from developing countries and a shift to the production of capture fisheries in developing countries. Meeting this demand will require that aquaculture contributes a rising share of production. There will also be a turn around in fish trade with more countries in the region importing fish and this will also be accompanied by rising fish prices. To further the analysis of these predictions, future scenarios are being developed by APFIC/FAO and WFC. Preliminary results were given in the next presentation as shown below.

29. In conclusion, Mr Staples summarized the challenges to fisheries and aquaculture in terms of the five subsectoral areas of:

Implications for supply of and demand for fish for food and fish for feeds

Stephen Hall, WorldFish Center (WFC)

30. Mr Hall highlighted that the market for fish and fish products in Asia is one of the most dynamic in the world. The region produces and consumes fish for food as well as for aquaculture feeds. National markets influence and are affected by the regional and global trade in fish and fish products such as fishmeal. Mr Hall gave preliminary findings of the WFC/APFIC collaborative study to develop a supply and demand model for fisheries in five Asian countries.

31. The model stems from the WFC's "Asia-Fish model" and was used to develop scenarios for the supply of and demand for fish in the Asian region. For the present study, the model was expanded to incorporate trade in fish and fish products from capture fisheries for aquaculture feeds. Different supply and demand scenarios can be foreseen, all of which are relevant to fisheries and aquaculture in Asia. These include:

32. A main conclusion of Mr Hall's presentation was that under all scenarios there will be differential impacts on poor consumers who will be hit by the reduced availability of fish and higher prices. A second conclusion was that the impacts of the scenarios differed depending on the stage of a country's aquaculture development. When aquaculture is in an early phase of development and the dependency on trash fish and fishmeal is relatively small, simple import substitutions compensate for changes in the supply of fishmeal or trash fish. In contrast, with intermediate development there is likely to be a shift to the culture of lower value species or lower intensity production that is less dependent on feed. With highly developed aquaculture, there will be no escape from fishmeal and trash fish price increases. These increases will result, not only in impacts on fish prices and production, but will also have wider ripple effects on national economies leading to falls in incomes and consumption. Impacts will be much greater for China, but the scenario in China is very likely to be a problem for other countries in the region as their aquaculture sectors develop.

33. It is recommended that the management of wild capture fisheries be improved to include greater consideration of low value fish, and developing plant based substitutes for fish based feeds should be a top priority.

Action plan to address low value/trash fish issues in the APFIC region

Simon Funge-Smith, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

34. Mr Funge-Smith covered the main outcome of the APFIC regional workshop on "Low value and 'trash fish' in the Asia-Pacific region" (Hanoi, Viet Nam, 7-9 June 2005), which was the elaboration of an action plan that addresses the priority issues associated with the increasing catch of low value/trash fish. The priority issues for action included: (i) the increasing regional demand for aquaculture feeds (both direct feed and fishmeal/oil); (ii) concern over reduction in the supply of animal protein for poor rural people; (iii) lack of incentives for better post-harvest processing; (iv) sustainability of harvesting from capture fisheries; (v) growth of overfishing and capture of small juveniles; and (vi) ecosystem level impacts.

35. Addressing these issues requires action both regionally and by countries. The workshop agreed that all countries should:

36. The workshop stressed the need to recognize the importance of small fish in rural and coastal livelihoods. It also highlighted the need to improve the information and communication of the issues through a better understanding of status, trends and utilization of low value/trash fish and raising awareness among all stakeholders, especially of the potential of pellet feeds for aquaculture and the suitability of many low value/trash fish for human consumption. These actions were presented for consideration by the regional consultative forum meeting.

37. Fishery interventions to deal with the issue included: reduction of trawling and pushnet effort (along with clear monitoring of the effect of capacity reduction); introduction of improved selectivity of fishing gears/fishing practices; reduction in the "race for fish" through rights-based fisheries and co-management; protection of juvenile nursery areas (refugia/closed areas, seasonal closures); and provision of alternative social support measures (including employment).

38. Strategies for improved utilization included: improved post-harvest fish handling and the development of new fish products through processing.

39. Strategies for improvement of feeds for aquaculture included: change over from direct feeding to pellet feeding; reduction of fish meal content by substitution of suitable ingredients in pellets; investment in feed research for inland/marine species; and promotion of the adoption and change over to pellet feeds (note: shrimp aquaculture is already based on pellet feed).

40. The APFIC Secretary invited a review of these recommendations. Suggestions also included emphasizing the need to increase the size of fish and the need to direct trash fish towards human consumption once it has been caught. It was also noted that improved utilization might increase incentives to catch trash fish, and the recommendations might highlight the key role of the government in relation to food safety issues.

41. It was noted that the recommendations do not currently specify who should do what, and that the recommendations might benefit by specifying a pro-poor and small-scale focus. It was also noted that region-specific recommendations and policy do not take account of the global interlinkages and other policies that might also be important, and that the recommendations might be improved by including a reference to the need to engage with other sectoral policies.

Capture fisheries management interventions

Panel led by Rolf Willmann, FAO Department of Fisheries

42. In introducing the panel on management interventions in capture fisheries, Rolf Willmann explained that the problems of capture fisheries in the region are well known and common (to a lesser or greater extent) to most countries and the world at large. He explained that because of the largely open-access status of fisheries in the region, the "race to fish" was growing in intensity and highly over-capitalized fleets and excess fishing effort, indiscriminate fishing practices, declining fish stocks and a shift towards lower value species, damage to marine ecosystems and declining catches per unit of effort, and declining incomes and economic returns were common. In the context of APFIC this has lead to the increase in low value/trash fish and associated issues.

43. He stressed that there are large economic benefits that can be harnessed by better management. He noted that this does not necessarily mean decreased employment opportunities in fisheries and fisheries related activities.

44. Countries in the region are considering or have already implemented various measures, often several in combination, to address these problems. These include:

45. The panel members, fishery managers and researchers from the region, expressed their views on priority management interventions and objectives in their respective countries. They reported on past successes and failures and identified the key constraints they need to address and overcome to improve fisheries management and increase, in a sustained manner, the national and local benefits from their fishery wealth. Panel members included Sheikh Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Jin, Xianshi (China), G.D. Chandrapal (India), Ibrahim bin Saleh (Malaysia), Jessica Munoz (Philippines), and Mala Supongpan (Thailand).

46. MalaysiaThe country has a sizeable catch of low value/trash fish of which 60 percent goes to feed aquaculture species. Between 60 and 90 percent of trash fish landings are by inshore trawlers. Fisheries management interventions include the introduction of fishing rights through licensed fishing appliances and vessels, with a revised licensing policy implemented since 1980. There has been a moratorium on the licensing of inshore fishing vessels since 1982 and the numbers are reducing. Other interventions include closed areas and mesh size limitations. A zoning system (Zone A, B, C) is in place to restrict the access of vessels and fishing gears, e.g. traditional fishing vessels are allowed to fish in any zone and exclusive use up to 5 nautical miles (nm) from shore. Commercial fishing vessels (trawlers and fish purse seiners) up to less than 40 gross registered tonnage (GRT) fish in waters beyond 5 nm from shore and those between 40 to less than 70 GRT fish in waters beyond 12 nm. Malaysia has a large artificial reef programme to deter illegal trawling in Zone A and also to enhance fish stocks. There is a current policy of encouraging existing inshore trawlers to increase in size and move into the offshore areas, and a buyback scheme for trawlers will be implemented next year.

47. ThailandManagement measures used include the freezing of the number of trawlers, mesh size control, reserve areas, zoning, reduction of pushnetters, promotion of co-management, closed seasons and areas, gear regulations and deployment of artificial reefs. New measures (Policy and Plan of Action 1997) for fishing capacity reduction and management are to be introduced for trawlers and pushnetters with the support of a Sida/FAO project. Pushnet reduction is already in progress and the fishers have taken up alternative activities including fish cage culture, gillnet fishing, oyster, mussel, and soft-shell mud crab cultivation, and use of more selective fishing gear (e.g. trammel nets). For trawl fisheries, capacity reduction has started with consultation with stakeholders and opinion polls to guide the introduction of incentives to leave the fishery. A meeting of decision makers will follow this (25 August 2006) and the Department of Fisheries (DOF) will follow up. Recommendations from the stakeholders meetings include a cap on boat building, a buyback programme, better enforcement and registration processes, updating of capacity-reduction plans and expanded deployment of artificial reefs.

48. BangladeshFisheries contribute 4.9 percent to GDP and are very important for employment and livelihoods. Almost all fish landed is used for direct human consumption. Management interventions include control on fleet size and trawling number, a mandatory registration system for artisanal boats and fishers. There is also a ban on shrimp larvae collection, mesh size restrictions, zone restrictions, fish sanctuary and seasonal closures. Discarding is not allowed and shrimp trawlers must land at least 30 percent finfish. Fisheries co-management (including awareness raising, participatory resource management, institutional and technical capacity building, government initiatives to reform policies to ensure the rights of the poor to resource access, government support during closed seasons, and adoption of measures to increase catches and encourage savings) is being introduced. There are also changes occurring in policies to support co-management, especially pro-poor policies. The government is also encouraging aquaculture as well as promoting integrated aquaculture/agriculture and other ways of alternative income generation.

49. India The Model Marine Fishing Regulation Bill, circulated by the central government in 1997 to coastal states, has provided the legal basis for fisheries management in India and every coastal state has enacted its own legislation on the basis of this. Management measures include delimitation of zones for different types of crafts, closed seasons and areas, fishing gear regulations (e.g. minimum mesh size) and gear restrictions, especially in lagoons and backwaters. Theoretical capacity limits on the number of coastal vessels have been estimated, however fisheries management authority within territorial waters rests with states. During recent years, a uniform 47 days fishing ban has been adopted during the monsoon season. This aims to protect spawning stocks, but its effectiveness is not well known and will be subject to further impact assessments. However, a seasonal fishing ban has helped the traditional sector in terms of better fishing opportunities. The fishery ban is accompanied by a saving-cum-relief scheme to mitigate against income losses. Measures have been taken to promote alternative livelihood activities including costal aquaculture and mariculture. Suggestions have been received to introduce a fishing vessel buyback programme to reduce the overcapacity of the coastal trawler fleet. No financial assistance is provided for introducing trawlers; in deep sea policy, only resource specific vessels are allowed to be introduced and stern trawlers are prohibited.

50. Philippines There is growing concern in the Philippines about declining economic returns in fisheries, poor living conditions and the deteriorating state of the fishery resources. Management interventions include protected areas, fish sanctuaries and reserves, effective law enforcement, information and awareness raising campaigns, and the promotion of alternative livelihoods. There is a moratorium on the granting of new licenses for commercial fisheries and limited licensing has been introduced for municipal fisheries. Future challenges include the allocation of appropriate human and financial resources in support of sustainable fisheries management, institutional and organizational strengthening, better law enforcement, improved policies based on greater research efforts, and expanding educational, information and awareness raising activities. The two major government policy/legal instruments that facilitate co-management in the Philippines are the 1991 Local Government Code and the 1998 Fisheries Code.

51. China There is no or limited discarding in Chinese marine fisheries, but there is a high percentage of low value or trash fish (about 20 percent of the marine catch and 3 million tonnes is used for reduction and marine culture). Existing management includes ban lines for trawlers, closed seasons and closed spawning grounds. Licensing and minimum mesh size have been in effect since the 1950s. Single species total allowable catches (TACs) are not considered practical today, but limitations on total marine catch have been implemented and there has been a zero growth policy since 1999. China has embarked on a fishing capacity reduction programme that involves buyback of boats and support to find alternative jobs. This has reduced the fishing fleet in recent years by about 3 750 boats per annum. A total of about 30 000 vessels are expected to be bought out by 2010 and the total fleet size reduced to about 192 000 vessels. The building of new boats is also strictly controlled. Other management measures include summer banning of fishing of two to three months duration in the South and East China Seas and the Yellow and Bohai Seas. China also has a large-scale resource enhancement programme that annually produces and releases artificially reared juveniles of important commercial species into coastal waters.

52. In response to a question about whether the major issue was poor policies or poor implementation of policies, all panel members responded that poor implementation of the policies was the main issue. Many of the countries supported co-management and the involvement of stakeholders both in the development and implementation of the policies. Several highlighted the need to include politicians (especially government ministers) in this consultation process. Examples of better implementation when fishing associations/societies were formed and included were provided, especially when the consultation process included consideration of easily implementable policies.

53. It was noted also that past management had not been very successful. It was suggested that buyback programmes might not be appropriate for multi-species fisheries, noting for example the buyback programme of Taiwan Province of China, which resulted in an increase in fishing effort rather than a reduction. It was argued that the increase in the costs of fishing, especially as a consequence of the recent dramatic price rise of fuel, would result in a reduced fishing capacity. In response, it was pointed out that whereas a rising fuel price will help to reduce fleet size, by itself it would not lead to a sufficiently large contraction in fishing capacity and effort. Buyback schemes in multi-species fisheries can work, but a precondition was that entry can be and is effectively controlled.

54. Finally, it was noted that management interventions in Asia needed to be more in tune with traditional social systems and governance.

Pellets and fishmeal substitution

Albert Tacon, University of Hawaii

55. Mr Tacon noted that although aquaculture's contribution to total world fisheries landings has increased over 93-fold from 638 577 tonnes in 1950 to 59 408 444 tonnes in 2004, the finfish and crustacean aquaculture sector is still highly dependent on marine capture fisheries for sourcing key dietary nutrient inputs, including fish meal, fish oil and low value/trash fish. This dependency is particularly strong with respect to aquafeeds for farmed carnivorous finfish species and marine shrimp.

56. Estimates in 2004 showed that the finfish and crustacean aquaculture sector consumed 3 452 000 tonnes of fishmeal (52.3 percent of the total global fishmeal production of 6 604 229 tonnes in 2004) and 893 400 tonnes of fish oil (82.2 percent of total global fish oil production of 1 085 674 tonnes in 2004). This quantity of fishmeal and fish oil is equivalent to the consumption of 17.4 to 21.7 million tonnes of pelagic fish (using a dry meal plus oil to wet fish weight equivalents conversion factor of four to five). Moreover, coupled with the current estimated use of between 5 to 7 million tonnes of low value/trash fish as a direct aquaculture feed source, it is estimated that the finfish and crustacean aquaculture sector consumed the equivalent of 22 to 28 million tonnes of fish (pelagic wet weight equivalents) as feed for the total production of around 32 million tonnes of farmed finfish and crustaceans in 2004.

57. Because over 90 percent of total global finfish and crustacean aquaculture production is realized within Asia and the Pacific region, there is an urgent need for the aquaculture sector to reduce its current dependence on potentially food-grade marine capture fishery resources for sourcing its major dietary protein and lipid nutrient inputs. Apart from the potential use of low-value/trash fish and feed-fishery fish stocks for direct human consumption and the finite nature of these precious fishery resources, the continued use of these fishery resources (and in particular of low-value/trash fish species) by the finfish and crustacean aquaculture sector poses major environmental and biosecurity risks to the long-term sustainable development of the sector, and in particular for small-scale cage-farmers.

58. Mr Tacon described efforts to date to find cost-effective dietary fishmeal and fish oil replacements for use within compound aquafeeds, and to develop alternative dry pellet based feeding strategies for use by small-scale farmers. Although research success to date concerning the development of cost-effective fishmeal replacements has been relatively encouraging, efforts to replace fish oil in aquafeeds or to prevent the direct use of low-value/trash fish as feed have been less encouraging.

59. As stated in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, "States should encourage the use of fish for human consumption and promote consumption of fish whenever appropriate" (FAO, 1995), and discourage the use of fish fit for human consumption for animal feeding. This is in line with the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action, that aquaculture activities do no harm to the existing food supplies of the poor, but rather help by providing much needed affordable aquatic food produce and employment opportunities for inland and coastal rural communities.

60. The use of low-value/trash fish as feeds for aquaculture is largely directed at higher value carnivorous species. The current use is largely because of convenience and price, coupled to the lack of alternatives. Problems of low-value/trash fish use were explored, including environmental effects, overfishing and competition for food. It is recommended that low-value/trash fish use by aquaculture is restricted or prohibited, particularly where the fish might be of significance as food for poor people.

61. Constraints on the use of fishmeal and fish oil are mainly market driven. There are static supplies but increasing demands. Aquaculture products continue to demand high quantities of these products, but prices are declining (especially for the commodity species such as shrimp and salmon, but also for others, e.g. tilapia). Nutritional requirements of aquaculture species can be met from other sources but have until recently been economically unattractive. With the recent 50 percent rise in price for fishmeal over the last year, economic forces are already driving feed producers to look to other ingredients. The use of rendered livestock by-products is subject to some constraints, but these can be overcome, particularly for aquaculture where concerns of disease transfer are greatly reduced. There are particular biosecurity issues related to the use of rendered seafood products (e.g. processing wastes).

62. The livestock industry produces massive quantities of by-products, which can be rendered for animal feeds. Aquaculture has yet to explore many of these sources. Alternatives also exist in the form of new sources of proteins and fatty acids (polychaete worms), non-marine feeds, and heterotrophic systems using bacterial flocs. Seaweeds and molluscs also offer potential sources of important feed ingredients.

Recommendations of the APFIC Regional Consultative Forum

63. The APFIC regional consultative forum agreed that:

"Low value/trash fish " refers to fish that are generally of relatively low economic value and typically small sized. They can be used for either human consumption or as animal feeds (both fish and livestock). They can be used directly in aquaculture to feed other fish or processed into fish meal/oil for incorporation into formulated diets. The same is true for human food, where the fish may be consumed directly, or further processed often using traditional methods of processing small fish.

Main recommendation

64. To address the issues associated with the increasing trend in the production of low value/trash fish
taken from the APFIC region, members should improve the management of fisheries, improve the
utilization of low value/trash fish for human food, and improve feeds for aquaculture.

Improved Management of Fisheries

65. APFIC members should:

Improved utilization of low value/trash fish for human food

66. To improve the utilization of fish and fisheries products, the region should:

Improve feeds for aquaculture

67. Noting that aquaculture was growing at a rapid rate in the region and that feed for this growing
industry continued, in large part, to be sourced (either directly or indirectly) from wild fish stocks, the
region should:

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