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|COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES|
|Rome, Italy, 15-19 February 1999|
|SUMMARY REPORT ON THE FAO TECHNICAL CONSULTATION ON POLICIES FOR SUSTAINABLE SHRIMP CULTURE (BANGKOK, THAILAND, 8-11 DECEMBER 1997) AND ON FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES|
I. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONSULTATION
1. FAO convened a Technical Consultation on Policies for Sustainable Shrimp Culture in Bangkok from 8 to 11 December .19971 The Consultation was attended by government delegates and observers from 12 countries of Asia and the Americas accounting for about 90 percent of the global production of cultured shrimp and including major consuming countries. Observers from five inter-governmental organizations and from four international non-governmental organizations also attended.
2. 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.
3. Achievement of sustainable shrimp culture depends on effective government policy and regulatory actions, as well as the cooperation 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.
4. The Consultation recommended a number of specific areas for future research. These include, in particular, the exploration of economic incentives as a strategy to generate financial resources for promoting and supporting sustainable development of shrimp culture practices. Also needed is research to determine carrying capacity of coastal ecosystems for shrimp culture.
5. The Consultation further recommended that FAO convene expert meetings to elaborate: (i) best practices for shrimp culture, (ii) desirable elements of the legal and regulatory frameworks for coastal aquaculture and (iii) the criteria and indicators for monitoring sustainability of shrimp culture. Regarding the latter, 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 Committee on Fisheries at its present 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.
6. Furthermore, the Consultation recommended that its report be submitted to the present session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) for consideration and endorsement.
II. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE AD HOC EXPERT MEETING ON INDICATORS AND CRITERIA OF SUSTAINABLE SHRIMP CULTURE
7. Pursuant to the above-mentioned recommendations of the Technical Consultation, FAO convened an Ad hoc Expert Meeting on Indicators and Criteria of Sustainable Shrimp Aquaculture in Rome, 28-30 April 1998.2 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.
8. The meeting prioritized and prepared a recommended short-list of the criteria and indicators of sustainable shrimp culture which could form the basis for regular reporting by countries to COFI. The indicators are multi-disciplinary and far-reaching, covering ecosystem and bio-physical, economic and social, and legal and institutional aspects of shrimp culture.
9. The Meeting concluded that it would be premature at this stage to request governments to report actual data on those indicators to the present session of COFI. Instead, it elaborated a questionnaire to allow governments to review and comment on the recommended indicators, their present and future ability to acquire the related data and information, and on 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. This questionnaire was sent by FAO to governments of producing countries of cultured shrimp. The responses received by governments are summarized in a paper made available to this Committee.
|1||FAO, 1998. Report of the FAO Technical Consultation on Policies for Sustainable Shrimp Culture. Bangkok, Thailand, 8-11 December 1997. FAO Fish Rep. (572).|
|2||FAO, 1998. Report of the Ad hoc Expert Meeting on Indicators and Criteria of Sustainable Shrimp Culture. Rome, Italy, 28-30 April 1998. FAO Fish. Rep. (582).|