Selected management approaches in aquaculture
Inland fish ponds in China
There are manifold interactions between fisheries and agriculture through the common use of land and water resources and concurrent production activities to support rural village communities and supply urban areas with the needed quantity and variety of food. Such interactions extend to the institutional sphere, as fisheries and agriculture often fall within one government ministry. Improved integration between the two sectors is therefore an important means for enhancing fish production and food security.
The overall objective of integrating fisheries and agriculture is to maximize the synergistic and minimize the antagonistic interactions between the two sectors. There is growing recognition over the opportunities and benefits of integrating fisheries and aquaculture into agricultural development efforts, since there are very significant synergistic interactions between agriculture and fish production practices, which are mainly derived from the recycling of nutrients arising in the course of agricultural, livestock and fish production processes, from integrated pest management IPM and from the optimal use of water resources. The most direct antagonistic interactions between agriculture and fisheries occur where these two sectors compete for land and water, and where measures aimed at higher agricultural production can alter fish habitats and fish stocks.
Looking for fish in harvested paddy fields. Local people have been following this practice for centuries
Human resource development and institutional strengthening are widely held to be the principal requirements for improving integration at the level of individual farms and communities, in river basin and coastal area management and at the level of sectoral and macroeconomic policies. At the farm level, attention needs to focus first on resource use efficiency and the economic incentives that influence farmers when they decide on cropping patterns and the use of water, fertilizer, pesticides and other inputs. Next, the emphasis should be on farmers' knowledge of available production and pest management options as well as on their ability to apply these. Agriculture and aquaculture offer a large variety of cropping patterns under different climatic and soil conditions. If they have the right skills, together with access to the necessary inputs, farmers will adopt the farming or aquaculture system that is most suitable and economically advantageous for their specific situation. Extension and training are crucial for informed decision-making, and physical infrastructure, efficient input markets and credit facilities are indispensable for the optimal development and integration of farming and aquaculture systems.