The Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (ADCP) is an Inter-Regional Project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), executed by FAO, and based in Rome.
One of its tasks is to coordinate and provide technical and operational assistance for a number of regional aquaculture programmes. These include programmes in Africa (based in Nigeria), Asia (based in Thailand, with other centres in India, the Philippines and the People's Republic of China), and Latin America (in Brazil), all financed by UNDP and bilateral organizations.
The fourth of the current programmes is the Mediterranean Regional Aquaculture Programme (MEDRAP) headquartered in Tunisia. MEDRAP began in 1984 and is set up to assist in the operation of demonstration and pilot projects in the participating countries1 which border on the Mediterranean. In addition, through the bilateral support of the Italian Government, MEDRAP carries out training in aquaculture including short-term sessions, study tours, and the implementation of a regional training centre for aquaculture technicians at Policoro in southern Italy on a commercial fish farm.
1 The participating countries in MEDRAP at the time of the workshop were Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yugoslavia.
ADCP, as part of its mandate to communicate information to advise and direct investment in aquaculture, is concentrating its attention on several non-biotechnical activities in aquaculture development which have so far been neglected. In the more advanced aquaculture regions, such as the Mediterranean and South-East Asia, the major constraints to further aquaculture development are no longer solely bio-technical - i.e., problems associated with the biological and environmental requirements for maintaining aquatic species in captivity. The main constraints are centred now around such sectoral topics as policy-making and planning, aquabusiness management, socio-anthropology, socio-economics, and, probably most important of all, the processing and marketing of aquaculture products.
The following report summarises the findings of the first of a series of workshops on the marketing of prime aquaculture species and their links with investment which ADCP will be organizing. This first workshop deals with the prime Mediterranean species - sea bass, sea bream, mullets and eel.
ADCP's objectives in holding this workshop were (i) to obtain marketing information on the four most important Mediterranean fish species, and (ii) to assist ADCP in advising and guiding investment in the industry by both the public and the private sectors. Almost all the Mediterranean countries have an interest in aquaculture, either to compensate for the diminishing fisheries resources of the region or to provide additional food for their increasing populations. Most of the countries which rim the Mediterranean are focusing on the same prime high-value species with the same international or national markets in view. ADCP feels that it has a responsibility to try to prevent over-investment in aquaculture in the region or, to put it another way, to provide the best information to allow investors to make appropriate decisions, whatever their priorities may be.
ADCP, as a result of the workshop held in December 1986, has therefore summarised information which can be used by:
- Assistance agencies, which might be asked to support an aquaculture project in one of the developing countries in the region;
- Development banks, which might be asked to finance large-scale construction, e.g., a large farm or hatchery;
- Governments, which might need to make planning decisions on the use of coastal resources, or
- Potential investors, who might wish to invest their own money in aquaculture enterprises.