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Annex I - Glossary


The current FAO definition is "Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some sort of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated. For statistical purposes, aquatic organisms which are harvested by an individual or corporate body which has owned them throughout their rearing period contribute to aquaculture while aquatic organisms which are exploitable by the public as a common property resource, with or without appropriate licences, are the harvest of fisheries".

Aquaculture (development) plan

A document which provides details of the actions required to implement aquaculture policy [c/f policy document]. Normally the document will specify a timetable and the budgetary requirements necessary to complete the objectives outlined in the plan. The plan [c/f planning document] should orient public interventions and foster private initiatives to achieve qualitative and/or quantitative aquaculture development objectives, thus contributing to the attainment of national economic and social goals.


[Synonym: biological diversity] The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia. terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within a species, between species and of ecosystems. Genetic diversity is all of the genetic variation in an individual, population, or species.

Capture fisheries

The removal of aquatic organisms from natural or enhanced waters.

Culture-based fisheries

The FAO "working definition" is "activities aimed at supplementing or sustaining the recruitment of one or more aquatic species and raising the total production or the production of certain elements of a fishery beyond a level which is sustainable through natural processes". (In this sense culture-based fisheries include measures [c/f enhanced fisheries] which may take the form of: introduction of new species; stocking natural and artificial water bodies; fertilisation; environmental engineering including habitat improvements and modification of water bodies; altering species composition including elimination of undesirable species, or constituting an artificial fauna of selected species; genetic modification of introduced species.)

Enhanced fisheries

Enhanced fisheries, including culture-based fisheries [c/f culture-based fisheries], are activities aimed at supplementing or sustaining the recruitment of one or more aquatic organisms and raising the total production of selected elements of a fishery beyond a level which is sustainable by natural processes.

Food security

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Genetic diversity

See biodiversity.

Genetically modified organism

An organism in which the genetic material has been altered anthropogenically by means of gene or cell technologies.

Genetically selected organism

An organism produced by selective breeding.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)

A system which identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards which are significant for food safety.


The use of a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.

Integrated aquaculture

The integration of aquaculture with other on-farm activities, such as crop production, animal husbandry, or agricultural processing. In its broadest sense, the term also includes the integration of aquaculture with industrial activities, such as the utilisation of agro-industrial by-products, the utilisation of heated water from power stations and industrial units, and the use of human sewage as fertilisers in pond culture.

Introduced species

[Synonyms: non-indigenous species; exotic species] Any species intentionally or accidentally transported and released by humans into an environment beyond its present range.

Performance bonds

[Synonym: rehabilitation bond] A bond equal to the estimated social costs of possible environmental damage that is placed as a surety for complying with environmental requirements and is forfeit if these requirements are not met.

Planning document

A detailed written plan, containing specific objectives and proposed actions, and including activity schedules, timetables and a budget, which is designed to implement policy [c/f policy document; aquaculture plan].

Policy document

A written statement of sagacious intent or attitude towards a specific topic or sector (in this case aquaculture).

Precautionary approach

A set of agreed cost-effective measures and actions, including future courses of action, which ensures prudent foresight, reduces or avoids risk to the resources, the environment, and the people, to the extent possible taking into account existing uncertainties and the potential consequences of being wrong.

Inter alia, the precautionary approach requires:

· consideration of the needs of future generations and avoidance of changes that are not potentially reversible;

· prior identification of undesirable outcomes and of measures that will avoid them or correct them properly;

· that any necessary corrective measures are initiated without delay, and that they should achieve their purpose promptly, on a timescale not exceeding two or three decades;

· that where the likely impact of resources use is uncertain, priority should be given to conserving the productive capacity of the resource;

· an established legal and institutional framework for aquaculture management; and

· appropriate placement of the burden of proof by adhering to the requirements above.

Recreational fisheries

Fisheries conducted by individuals primarily for sport but with a possible secondary objective of capturing fish for domestic consumption but not for onward sale.

Responsible aquaculture

Aquaculture which is consonant with sustainable development (c/f) and sustainable use (c/f).

Soft law

A voluntary instrument, such as a code of practice or a set of guidelines.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is the management and conservation of the natural resource base and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations. Such sustainable development (in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors) conserves land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable.

Sustainable use

Sustainable use is the use of components of biological diversity (and resources generally) in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline if biological diversity or of any of its components, thereby maintaining their potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.


The traditional management of coastal lagoons (locally called "valli") for capture fisheries and extensive aquaculture, which was originally developed along the North Adriatic Italian coast.

Wild fisheries

Fisheries based on natural production and recruitment.

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