HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the Report: The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition

18.11.2013 - 20.12.2013

In November 2012, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to conduct a study on The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for food security and nutrition. Taking into account the results of the scoping consultation, the HLPE intends to assess the importance and relevance of Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and nutrition as well as the current challenges faced by Fisheries and Aquaculture in relation to Food Security, pointing out changes going on, including overexploitation of fish stocks and the boom of aquaculture, in order to better understand these changes and to maximize the positive effects of them.

Final findings of the study will feed into CFS 41 Plenary session on policy convergence (October 2014).

As part of the process of elaboration of its reports, the HLPE now seeks inputs, suggestions, comments on the present V0 draft.

This e-consultation will be used by the HLPE to further elaborate the report, which will then be submitted to external expert review, before finalization and approval by the HLPE Steering Committee.

HLPE V0 drafts are deliberately presented – with their range of imperfections – early enough in the process, at a work-in-progress stage, when sufficient time remains to give proper consideration feedback received so that it can be really useful and play a real role in the elaboration of the report. It is a key part of the scientific dialogue between the HLPE Project team and Steering Committee with the rest of the knowledge community.

In particular, the HLPE would welcome comments and evidence based suggestions, references, examples, etc. on policy aspects, from an evidence-based perspective, on what can be done to improve the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to improve food security and nutrition, now and in the future, in various contexts.

It is a fact: fish is nutritionally rich (in particular in bioavailable calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin A); and fish (either produced through fish-farming activity or caught from wild stocks through fisheries) is used in many developing countries as a primary source of animal protein. The latest estimate by the FAO suggests for instance that in 2009, fish accounted for 17% of the global population’s intake of animal protein and 6.5% of all protein consumed. Globally, fish provides about 3.0 billion people with almost 20 percent of their average per capita intake of animal protein, and 4.3 billion people with about 15 percent of such protein (FAO 2012).

Yet, fisheries and aquaculture are absent from most global reports on food and food insecurity (e.g., FAO SOFA and the FAO food insecurity reports) and, with some few exceptions, fish has so far been ignored in the international debate on food security and nutrition. At the same time, although the fisheries literature recognizes the importance of fish in relation to food security and nutrition, the analysis goes rarely beyond the simple adage stating that: “Fish is a rich food for the poor”.

There is an urgent need to go beyond this adage and establish more rigorously the link between fish ad food security and nutrition. The key-question that this study will aim to address is: “recognizing the well-established importance of fish to food security and nutrition, what should be done to maintain or even enhance this contribution now and in the long term, given the challenges that both fisheries and aquaculture sectors are facing in terms of their own environmental sustainability and governance, and the external economic and demographic transitions that they have to respond to?”

In order to address this overarching question, several more specific interrogations may be considered:

Respective contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to food security and nutrition: How and to what extent do fisheries and aquaculture contribute to food security - through which impact pathways? What is the evidence available to present fisheries and aquaculture as key ways for improving the food security of targeted populations?

Women and food security: What is the specific role of women in enhancing food security in fisheries and aquaculture sectors? What are the threats and barriers to this specific role and why and how should this role be strengthened?

Sectorial trade-offs and food security: Are there any trade-offs between the sectors’ contributions at different levels or between different groups? In other words, is it possible that enhancing food security at one level (or for one specific target group, e.g. urban consumers) reduces food security at another level (or for another specific group, e.g. fishers/producers)? As part of this issue, what is the overall contribution of international fish trade on food security?

Environmental sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture: Beyond an obvious long-term dependence, what is the relationship (trade-offs; synergies) between resource conservation and food security? In particular what are the short- and medium-term impacts of the large number of conservation interventions (e.g. marine protected areas) that have been recently established, on the local populations dependent on small-scale fisheries?

Governance and food security: What are the effects of the various management and governance reforms (e.g. co-management programmes) currently implemented at national level throughout the world’s fisheries, on food security? At the international level what is the role and impact of recent global programmes and campaigns such as the “International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU)”, or the implementation of BMPs (Best Management Practices) in aquaculture on food security?

Fisheries and aquaculture interaction: Are there any trade-offs between aquaculture and fisheries in relation food security? In particular is the use of fish meal (to feed farmed fish) a threat to human food security?

The future of fisheries and aquaculture in the context of foods security: What future role fisheries and aquaculture will be able to play in the context of the combined impact of demographic transition (increased population and increased living standard) and climate change (likely decrease in world agriculture production capacity)?

We thank in advance all the contributors for being kind enough to read and comment on this early version of our report. We look forward for a rich and fruitful consultation.

The HLPE Project Team and Steering Committee

Brian O'Riordan ICSF, Belgium

Please find attached the contribution of ICSF to the High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), VO Draft report on the Role of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition.

On behalf of ICSF I would like to thank you for providing the opportunity to contribute to this initiative

Best wishes

Brian O'Riordan,
The Secretary, ICSF Belgium Office
Sentier des Rossignols 2
1330 Rixensart, Belgium
Tel: 00 32 26525201
Fax: 00 32 26540407

Sue Longley IUF/UITA, Switzerland

This comment is submitted on behalf of the IUF*, the global trade union federation representing workers throughout the food chain including in the fishing, aquaculture and fish processing industries.

The IUF welcomes the decision of the CFS to ask the HLPE to conduct a study on The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for food security and nutrition.

The IUF believes that decent working conditions in the fishing and aquaculture sectors are essential both to the sustainability of these industries and to ensuring the food security of people working in fisheries and aquaculture.

We take this opportunity to remind the HLPE of the recognition in the CFS’s Global Strategic Framework (paragraph 34), that “Many agricultural and food workers (note: which we understand to include fish and aquaculture workers) and their families suffer from hunger and malnutrition because basic labor laws, minimum wage policies and social security systems do not cover rural workers. Formal employment and the assurance of a minimum living wage is key for workers’ food security and nutrition.”

The GSF calls for living wages and decent work as key tools to ensuring global food security and nutrition for agricultural workers.

We would also like to draw to the attention of the HLPE to the “points of consensus” arising out of the ILO’s global dialogue forum for the promotion of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (no 188),
(http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---sector/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_214603.pdf), in particular to Point 4: Recommendations for future actions  by the International Labour Organization  and its Members, point (vi) which calls on ILO and its member states to “continue to expand strategic partnerships with other UN agencies and International organizations to foster policy and programme coherence in the fishing sector to promote the ratification and effective implementation of Convention No. 188.”

The IUF therefore calls on the HLPE to recognize the importance of ILO Convention 188, Work in Fishing Convention and to call on CFS members states to ratify and implement the Convention as a tool for ensuring both sustainable fishing/aquaculture and the right to food and nutrition for workers in the fishing industry.

We support the comments already submitted by our affiliated organization, UILA PESCA.


*The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) is an international federation of trade unions representing workers employed in agriculture and plantations; the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages; hotels, restaurants and catering services; all stages of tobacco processing.  The IUF is composed of 394 affiliated organizations in 126 countries representing a combined membership of around 2,6 million.


The project team has done a good work on the zero draft.
However there are some comments particularly on 7. Recommendations should cover these topics:
National fisheries policies as stipulated in various national strategies for fisheries and aquaculture development and management have emphasized on the following directions:
• To have fishers and involving local organizations participate in fisheries administration, management and development.
• To increase knowledge and skill of the fishers for their self-reliance and viable occupation as well as to increase their capability in managing of their organizations.
• To maintain fisheries resources in harmony with sustainable utilization and without compromising the impact to environment, under joint administration and management by people, community, local organization, and government.
• To increase production from aquaculture sufficiently for domestic consumption.
• To accelerate research in supporting commercial aquaculture for increasing trade volume, quality standard and reducing cost of production.
• To develop sustainable aquaculture system for domestic trade as well as for export based on COC and GAP principle.
• To control and regulate fishing operation in compliance with agreements with other coastal States or joint-venture partners.
Yours sincerely,
Niracha Wongchinda
Department of Fisheries, Bangkok, Thailand

Australian contribution to the High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) report on The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition

Australia considers that sustainable fisheries and aquaculture have the potential to improve livelihoods and promote food and nutritional security. Australia welcomes the zero draft HLPE report on The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition.

Australia’s fisheries are managed sustainably and for optimum yield. The Australian Government develops and implements policies that promote a profitable, competitive and sustainable fishing industry while protecting and conserving our marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

Overall comments

Australia encourages greater balance and nuance throughout the HLPE report on The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition.

Proper focus should be given to the benefits of open and transparent markets in the report.

The paper presents domestic and regional trade as an alternative to international trade, implying that there is competition between them. International trade is presented as a developed/developing country nexus when developing countries are the largest in terms of capture fish production and trade.

Aquaculture is a global, competitive industry and fish products are highly traded internationally. In many advanced economies, seafood imports will continue to be necessary to meet domestic demand in the foreseeable future. Meeting this demand through global trade is a significant opportunity.

Trade, including of fish and aquaculture products, can create commercial opportunities and investment, generating growth. It can also create employment, giving people higher and more stable incomes, and therefore greater access to food.

The content of the report is very focused on the role of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition in developing countries.  However, we do not feel the focus on developing countries is adequately expressed throughout the document. 

The paper should also provide balanced treatment of small-scale and large-scale operators and consider the consequences for food security of failing to develop appropriate sustainable domestic fisheries policies. 

Research related comments

Australia submits the following general research related matters for the HLPE’s consideration:

The question this paper seeks to address contains the premise that there is a link between the development of fisheries and aquaculture sectors and food security and nutrition. This premise should be critically examined. While there may be a link between poverty and food and nutrient deficiency, the paper does not present conclusive evidence that fish as a component of the diet is linked either to food and nutrient deficiency or to poverty. For example, page 28 states that fish provide 1% of the calorie intake of humans, and there are countries where fish does not constitute a significant part of peoples’ diet without leading to food or nutrient deficiency. Poverty has multiple causes and there may be commercial reasons why low-income food-deficient countries seek to develop their fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Applying a food security and nutrition lens to fisheries and aquaculture sector development can distort the complexity of these issues.

A better question could be ‘how can fish production in low-income food-deficient countries (LIFDCs) be maintained or increased now and in the long-term?’ An examination of this question could focus on issues such as market development, access agreements, trade barriers, equitable distribution of resources, infrastructure, value added processing, domestication and genetic improvement of fish stocks, efficiency of production, labour, and foreign exchange earnings. Most of these issues are touched on in the paper but do not get balanced treatment. The equitable distribution of resources is difficult to address but may be more relevant to poverty and food security.

The paper does not raise the role of subsidisation of fisheries effort which has been clearly identified internationally as major contributory factor in decreasing the sustainability of global fish stocks and in distorting production patterns in this sector.  The role of subsidies and potential approaches to reforming international policy in this area, and how this might have benefits in terms of sustainability of fisheries and increasing food security would be a worthwhile addition to the work carried out in connection with the production of this paper.

The paper could examine the negative food security impacts of poor fisheries management and fisheries policy. This could provide valuable background for international attempts to curb unstainable fishing.

From the perspective of Pacific fisheries, the body of the paper could be enhanced through greater consideration of small island developing states, most of which have significant marine resources; the significant threats to coastal fisheries from climate change and population growth; and the financial viability of small-scale fisheries.   

We also submit the following specific comments:

  • Page 9, line 41. Suggest deleting ‘and the negative impact that large-scale operations can have on smaller operators’. There is also the possibility for small-scale operators to have negative impacts on large-scale operators. The report states artisanal fishers catch approximately the same volume of fish for human consumption as commercial fisheries (page 53). Therefore artisanal fishers should be under equal levels of scrutiny as their large-scale counterparts to ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks. The key focus of international fisheries is proper management of key stocks and ensuring that the right of people to fish is maintained, for small-scale and large-scale operations. The report should treat operators of all sizes with balance. 
  • Page 12, lines 16-30. Suggest rewording the final sentence (retaining appropriate references) to read: ‘In many countries, small-scale fisheries are an important, but underrated, source of employment, food security and income, particularly in the developing world and in rural areas.’
  • Page 53, lines 4-12. The final sentence reads: ‘The estimate shown in Fig 3.9 suggests than in that regard small-scale fisheries are far more determinant than large-scale operations with respect to food security.’  We query whether this statement is accurate as it may not account for indirect employment. Indirect employment is likely to be higher for large-scale operations due to employment in related fields such as canning, processing, trade and oil production.
  • Pages 52-55, ‘Economic efficiency’. Lines 11-15 on page 55 draw a conclusion about the relative amount of ‘attention, support and resources’ received by small-scale and large-scale fisheries. This conclusion does not appear to directly follow from the information presented. The narrative appears to relate to selected comparisons of costs but not whether these costs are supported by government intervention, investment or other sources. This section could be improved by broadening and deepening the analysis. It is important to consider whether the fisheries activity is economically viable and sustainable, particularly where fishers are in loss-making situations over sustained periods, yet continue to fish, supported by government intervention. Given the lack of clarity about the definition of ‘small-scale’ fishing, this section could also be improved by exploring possible impacts on various types of small-scale operations, including artisanal fishing/semi-subsistence fishing and the interaction with government domestic policies (which in turn have an impact on the international trade of fish). 

Specific comments on the recommendations of the paper

Recommendation 4

Lines 42-44 of recommendation 4 state that ‘where small-scale fisheries are in competition with larger-scale operations, governments should systematically establish national policies and regulations that discriminate positively these small-scale fisheries’.

This recommendation is not appropriate for all countries in all circumstances. Governments need to be able to implement policies and regulations that accommodate for a number of factors, not just providing benefit for small-scale fishing operations. Australia suggests rewording the recommendation to ‘Where small-scale fisheries are in competition with larger-scale operations, governments should give due consideration to all circumstances when implementing national policies and regulations as to not discriminate against either method.’

Recommendation 4 also calls for efforts to be made to ‘reform rapidly the way international fisheries and ocean governance is currently operating’. This statement is too broad, and not well substantiated by the evidence presented in the paper.

Recommendation 9

This recommendation is too simplistic about the positives and negatives of international fish trade. The suggestion that fish trade can cause malnutrition should be removed. Instead, the paper and its recommendations should recognise the negative outcomes that can occur where there are weaknesses or failures in the development of appropriate sustainable domestic fisheries policies and decisions by government which can then overflow and impact negatively onto world markets and international trade in fish.

Any additional guidelines, rules or procedures should not impose additional barriers to trade.

Regarding lines 32-35, the study should refer to the creation of parameters or rules for international trade and the role of governments in regulating to enforce them. This part of the recommendation should also reflect the role of the World Trade Organization.

Recommendation 10

This recommendation should be more balanced in regard to trade. It could call for improving fisheries governance everywhere to ensure increase sustainability.

Concluding comments

Australia thanks the HLPE for developing a zero draft of The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition and is happy to engage with the HLPE to provide comment on future drafts.

James Rohan Australia

As you might imagine, large topic and have put down some relevant ideas from existing research and am reflecting on ways to model cultural approaches.

Am submitting progress if any at deadline but am now cognisant of strategic issues of fisheries and food security. While offered personal growth, have included some ideas as to potential reframing of research and development.

Best Regards


Pat Heslop-Harrison United States of America
I am making some brief comments on the zero draft consultation "The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition, dated 18 November 2013.http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/cfs-hlpe/fisheries-and-aquaculture-V0
I am a geneticist with interests including improvement of agricultural species, food security and environmental sustainability. There are many important issues addressed in this document; as is stated, despite aquaculture having a 2,500 year history, modern research has been surprisingly limited.
As an overall comment, I felt that many of key statements in the report were unreferenced or referenced to weak and discursive reports rather than rigorous factual studies. This suggests a need for study, and at a number of points in the report, there should be a recommendation of research that is required.
I thought that the references and discussion of the importance of fish genetics was considerably under-represented in the report. Genetics could well have its own complete section, not just a subsection of 3.4. With respect to recommendation 12 of p. 81 line 39, can there be some precise consideration of the genetic features being looked for in species used for aquaculture? Disease again is mentioned, but the epidemiology of fish diseases, as well as their nature and control options, should be looked at in more detail, particularly in relationship to prophylatic controls (antibiotics etc) and having in place control measures and associated legistation.
There is an excellent consideration of the feeds used for fish from page 47. However, there is surprisingly limited consideration of the future feeds, where it is essential to change to more plant-based products. What is required? Why are current plant meals not universal? Will land-based crops or algal foods be more important? What should plant breeders be looking for in producing fish feed?
I felt a few points were underdiscssed at other points: food safety issues may be greater with fish, despite the number of preservation of approaches - drying, salting, cold-chain, processed ... Can reduce post-consumer waste - bones and offal used more efficiently ('co-products) and not discarded? Where is the profit and added value here? There is an excellent consideration of feed conversion figures - but I expect the pork figure has improved considerably since 1999. The report states "Fish oil, which cannot be readily replaced, is expected to continue to slowly increase": to me, this sounds rather like comments on whale oil 30 years ago. Both plant breeding and plant-oil processing can easily replace in a decadal timescale.
I think the report should include chapters on footprinting of various aquaculture systems: it is important to have both a carbon footprint and a water footprint for aquaculture, carried out in a rigorous and defendable way (unlike, say, the rediculous water 'use' figures for beef production which are widely cited). There could be a SWAT analysis of several areas: genetics, preservation, genetic resources, nutrition inputs and outputs. 
While the statements about little work on fish are in general true, it is by no means only the case: there are huge parallels with plant domestication, and already there are large genomics projects (stickleback; danio). The genomics revolution can quickly influence fish breeding, and the Canadian Salmon genomic DNA sequence is soon to be published, while that of tilapia is also nearly available. Genetics will be much quicker using these resources, and it should be noted somewhere that already, transgenic fish are already available for purchase, the only animal and vertebrate in this category (albeit for the tropical fish hobbyist).
The report is very valuable in emphasizing the importance and growth in aquaculture, and its contribution to both food security and human nutrition, and I hope will lead to increased amounts of appropriate research and the applications of that research.
Gabriel de Labra Independent Consultant on Small Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture, Spain

El documento es sin duda un  instrumento muy valioso y necesario que ayudará a dar al colectivo de hombres y mujeres que trabajan en el sector de la pesca artesanal y de la acuicultura de pequeña escala, el reconocimiento que la sociedad les debe como productores y proveedores de un alimento de enorme importancia para el ser humano. Como ha sido reconocido y destacado por el relator de NNUU para el derecho a la alimentación, en su informe de agosto de 2012, “ la contribución aportada por el sector pesquero mundial al derecho a la alimentación y la seguridad alimentaria es fundamental y sin embargo se la suele subestimar. La mayoría de las estrategias destinadas a mejorar la seguridad alimentaria pasan por alto ese sector o solo se refieren a él de pasada. Hasta hace poco, no se ha prestado suficiente atención a la protección de los derechos de los pescadores y, más en general, las personas que dependen del sector pesquero”.

El documento resalta en su apartado 3.8 la importancia de la escala y la drástica diferencia que, en relación a la SAN, existe entre la pesca o la acuicultura industrial y la pesca o la acuicultura artesanal o de pequeña escala. Esta diferencia es fundamental remarcarla para cualquier análisis serio y, en mi opinión, no es posible hacer una valoración global o análisis comparativo de la pesca o la acuicultura sin añadir el epígrafe de su escala. Es decir, no se puede hablar de la acuicultura o de la pesca como un todo sin hacer la precisión de su escala ya que en función de ésta se trata de actividades totalmente distintas e incluso contrapuestas. Y dentro de la misma escala también conviene precisar con otro calificativo, como es el de “responsable” o “sostenible”.

Considerando el documento en general como un trabajo completo y muy bien realizado, quiero aportar modestamente un par de consideraciones.

Por una parte, creo que es necesario resaltar que el beneficio nutricional del pescado para la salud (ampliamente tratado en el apartado 3.2) se ve en muchos casos comprometido por las habituales deficiencias y carencias en medios y procedimientos de conservación y procesamiento, que es una constante en la mayoría de los países en desarrollo. Si se reconoce la importancia del pescado para la Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional de la población, debe reconocerse en las políticas públicas la necesidad de apoyar y mejorar los sistemas de conservación y procesamiento y crear las condiciones favorables para la mejora de estas condiciones: infraestructuras, formación, acceso a créditos, inspección sanitaria, etc. Es un derecho de la población en general, y no sólo de los productores y procesadores de pescado, tener acceso a los medios y los conocimientos necesarios para un adecuado desempeño de su trabajo.

Por otra parte me gustaría destacar que, en mi opinión, dentro de los aspectos de Gobernanza ampliamente tratados, con rigor y acierto, en el capítulo 5 (Governance, food security and nutrition), sería deseable incluir y hacer la debida referencia al concepto de Soberanía Alimentaria. Contando con múltiples ejemplos en todo el mundo que demuestran que las leyes del libre mercado (e incluso las políticas de ayuda de organismos multilaterales como el PMA) han sido la principal causa de abandono y pérdida de la capacidad de producción de alimentos entre los pequeños productores de múltiples países en desarrollo, la Soberanía Alimentaria prioriza las economías locales y los mercados locales y nacionales por encima de las leyes internacionales, reconociendo el papel y los derechos de los pequeños productores, y colocando la producción alimentaria, la distribución y el consumo sobre la base de la sustentabilidad ambiental, social y económica. La Soberanía Alimentaria propone nuevas relaciones sociales libres de opresión y desigualdades entre los hombres y mujeres, pueblos, grupos étnicos, clases sociales y generaciones y aboga porque los derechos de acceso y la gestión de la tierra, las aguas, las semillas, los recursos pesqueros y ganaderos y la biodiversidad, estén en manos de aquellos que producen los alimentos y debidamente protegidos de los que anteponen el beneficio económico a la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional de los pueblos. En el caso que nos ocupa, los pescadores artesanales y los acuicultores rurales deben, en aras de la Soberanía Alimentaria, ser reconocidos, protegidos y defendidos por sus gobiernos para garantizar así la Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional en sus respectivos territorios y países. 

Comments on the V0 draft of the Report: The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition

We would like to thank HLPE for this study regarding the role of fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition. We think the draft covers many themes of crucial importance for achieving a sustainable development of food production from these sectors. It is an important topic that often is forgotten in discussion on global food security.

The focus of the report is mainly on the south-east part of the world where the problem of food security is by far the greatest. The report is quite extensive regarding fisheries, but has some shortcomings regarding aquaculture. We have full confidence that the HPLE will balance the two topics, but want to stress one important issue that has escaped the draft.

When discussing the role of aquaculture on food security the focus in the report is the comparison of farming herbivore/omnivore fish and carnivore fish. As this comparison is important, one must not forget that an alternative to fish farming is the production of meat from terrestrial animals. In this comparison lies the amount of resources needed to produce 1 kg food. Looking at the feed conversion rate, fish farming undoubtedly is the most effective production regardless of fish species. In this aspect aquaculture is a great contributor to global food security and nutrition.

As the report points out, it is an important aspect that fish farming of carnivore fish uses fishmeal and fish oil in the feed. However, the amount used has been drastically reduced during the last decades. This has been the focus of two reports by Nofima (the Norwegian food research institute): http://www.nofima.no/filearchive/rapport-52-2011.pdf and http://www.nofima.no/filearchive/rapport-53-2011_5.pdf.

Regarding environmental sustainability, it is important that the report is balanced. It is our experience that fish farming can be environmentally sustainable when the government has a long-term focus on the issue. Pollutants can challenge food safety, but Norwegian surveillance reveals that the amount of environmental toxins has been reduced both in farmed fish and wild fish.

We would like to highlight the importance of food safety which is only scarcely dealt with in the report. It is necessary  to address food safety properly when addressing food security and nutrition. Infections and malnutrition associated with these are responsible for a significant proportion of deaths among infants and children worldwide each year. Food borne infections can become a nutritional concern, e.g. infections causing diarrhea will interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food. It is also important to assess and manage the risk and benefits of fish consumption. Developing, maintaining and improving databases on nutrients and contaminants such as methyl mercury and dioxins in fish consumed in the different regions are important. The increase in international trade and cross-border transmission of infectious diseases makes food borne disease surveillance programs important, nationally and internationally, in the control of food borne diseases.

Finally, it would be useful if the report in one section could provide key statistics from the fisheries and aquaculture sector. This could be information on the number of employees, the amount of fish protein in diets, etc. It should cover both sectors at the global level and also split into regional overviews.

Jorge Lopez Argentina

Estimados señores, señoras:

He leido el Borrador cero  del estudio  "The role of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition"  y  al respecto tengo los siguientes comentarios:

1) No veo en el texto el impacto de la variabilidad y cambio climático en la pesca y la acuicultura y sus consecuencias en la Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional. En la región centroamericana, estamos trabajando sobre el tema ya que tiene un gran significado sobre todo en las comunidades costeras dedicadas a estas actividades.

2) El texto señala muy acertadamente  los conflictos existentes entre la pesca artesanal (pequeña escala) - pesca industrial (gran escala) asi como entre la acuicultura y la pesca.  Pero ahí se queda y no trasciende de manera clara en el planteamiento de soluciones o de vias alternativas. En la región tenemos experiencias donde esos enfrentamientos fueron trabajados de manera  exitosa mediante espacios de concertación muy bien manejados.

3) En el año 2008 en Centroamérica se desarrolló un estudio bajo el título de "Impacto de la Pesca y la Acuicultura en la Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional a Nivel Familiar y Comunitario en Centroamérica" bajo la dirección y patrocinio de la ORGANIZACIÓN DEL SECTOR PESQUERO Y ACUÍCOLA DEL ISTMO CENTROAMERICANO (OSPESCA) y  EL PROGRAMA REGIONAL DE SEGURIDAD ALIMENTARIA Y NUTRICIONAL PARA CENTROAMÉRICA (PRESANCA), ambos organismos miembros del SISTEMA DE LA INTEGRACIÓN CENTROAMERICANA (SICA). Personalmente trabaje en el diseño de este proyecto.

Puedo enviarles el informe final, si fuera de su interes.

Jorge López

Shashi Kumar Bangalore University , India

Respected Sir,

As the title itself indicates there is a close interrelationship between the food security and the sustainable aquaculture.  The increasing population along with the increased income of the people would definitely cause increased demand for food, particularly of the hygienic food in the developed and developing countries.  As such, the demand for overall agricultural produce is been increasing. 

Agriculture itself can’t provide the basic need to fulfill the consumerist attitude of ‘consumption of food’.  Because most of the developed countries are in shortage of food production as they have much concentrated on the manufacturing sector.  Nearly 60 percent of the developed countries area much bothering about the payment for import of food, which has been earned through the trading activity.  The economic devastation in one way or the other is very much linked with the food crisis.  Thus, both for developing and underdeveloped countries, the supply chain of food would be of great importance and an opportunity to reap the fruits of food crisis.

The improvement of aquaculture not only promises to feed the hungry mouth, but also promotes the nutrients for better health practices.  Aqua-industry is an immense prospective for growth of economy, if it been harvested, maintained and marketed properly.  It would be of great potential of generation of employment too.  Concerned Governments should take initiative to explicit the policies and programmes related to the aquaculture, thereby providing subsidies, training, marketing, transport, warehousing etc., to improve the sustainability of fishing activity.  As such, the sustainable attitude with respect to the aquaculture results in emphasizing employment, generation of income and overall development of socio-economic aspects of a nation.


Thanking you.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. R. SHASHI KUMAR M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Principal Researcher: India-EU Trade and Investment Relations(UGC, New Delhi)
Project Director: Inclusive Growth in India (ICSSR, New Delhi)
Department of Economics
Bangalore University
Bangalore-560 056
Karnataka State, India