Part V - Bangkok Declaration and Strategy


Bangkok Declaration and Strategy for
Aquaculture Development Beyond 2000


1. Preamble

The first international Conference on Aquaculture organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was held in Kyoto, Japan in 1976. The Conference adopted the “Kyoto Declaration on Aquaculture.”

In February 2000, some 540 participants from 66 countries participated in the “Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium” in Bangkok, Thailand. This Conference was organised by the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) and the FAO and hosted by the Government of Thailand.

Throughout 1999, NACA and the FAO facilitated the preparation of reviews on aquaculture developments in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the countries of the former USSR, the Near East, and the Pacific Island nations and held expert meetings to consider trends in aquaculture development. Thematic Reviews on various aspects of aquaculture were also conducted. Participants to the Bangkok Conference were informed of the findings and conclusions of these activities.

Against this background, the Conference participants discussed strategies for the development of aquaculture for the next two decades, in the light of the future economic, social and environmental issues and advances in aquaculture technologies.

Based on these deliberations, the participants to the Conference adopted the following Declaration.


2. The declaration

We, the participants to the Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium, Bangkok 2000, recognise that:

2.1 during the past three decades aquaculture has become the fastest growing food-producing sector and is an increasingly important contributor to national economic development, the global food supply and food security;

2.2. aquaculture consists of a broad spectrum of users, systems, practices and species, operating through a continuum ranging from backyard household ponds to large-scale industrial systems;

2.3 the per caput supply of food fish from capture fisheries is likely to decline with population increase;

2.4 a great proportion of aquaculture production comes from developing countries, where aquaculture will continue to contribute to peoples’ livelihoods, food security, poverty alleviation, income generation, employment and trade;

2.5 there has been a significant increase in commercial and industrial aquaculture, both in developed and developing countries, that has contributed to food supply, export income and trade;

2.6 globally, aquaculture is at varying stages of development and will require different strategies for growth;

2.7 the potential of aquaculture to contribute to food production has not yet been realised across all continents;




2.8 aquaculture complements other food production systems, and integrated aquaculture can add value to the current use of on-farm resources;

2.9 aquaculture can be an entry point for improving livelihoods, planning natural resource use and contributing to environmental enhancement;

2.10 responsible aquaculture practitioners are legitimate users of resources;

2.11 education and research will continue to make a significant contribution to the growth of aquaculture;

2.12 some poorly planned and managed aquaculture operations have resulted in negative impacts on ecosystems and communities;

2.13 aquaculture has also been negatively impacted by other unplanned activities;

2.14 the continued growth of aquaculture will occur through investment by the private and public sectors;

2.15 effective national institutional arrangements and capacity, policy, planning and regulatory frameworks in aquaculture and other relevant sectors are essential to support aquaculture development;

2.16 improving co-operation amongst stakeholders at national, regional and inter-regional levels is pivotal for further development of aquaculture;

2.17 the potential of aquaculture to contribute to human development and social empowerment cannot be fully realised without consistent, responsible policies and goals that encourage sustainable development;

and declare that:

2.18 the aquaculture sector should continue to be developed towards its full potential, making a net contribution to global food availability, household food security, economic growth, trade and improved living standards;

2.19 the practice of aquaculture should be pursued as an integral component of development, contributing towards sustainable livelihoods for poor sectors of the community, promoting human development and enhancing social well-being;

  2.20 aquaculture policies and regulations should promote practical and economically viable farming and management practices that are environmentally responsible and socially acceptable;

2.21 national aquaculture development processes should be transparent and should take place within the framework of relevant national policies, regional and international agreements, treaties and conventions;

2.22 in pursuing development, States, the private sector, and other legitimate stakeholders should co-operate to promote the responsible growth of aquaculture;

2.23 strengthened regional and inter-regional co-operation should increase the efficiency and effectiveness of aquaculture development efforts; and2.24 all parties formulating improved policies and implementing practices for aquaculture development should consider and where appropriate, build on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

The following contains the major strategy elements based on the Conference session recommendations. The detailed recommen-dations from the sessions are given in the Conference Report.

3. Strategy for aquaculture development beyond 2000

States are encouraged to incorporate in their strategies for aquaculture development the key elements identified during this Conference.

The key elements are:

3.1 Investing in people through education and training

  • Further investments in education and training are essential to build the knowledge, skills and attitude of all people involved in the sector. Human capacity development can be made more cost-effective and responsive to needs through:
  • using participatory approaches to curriculum development;
  • improving co-operation and networking between agencies and institutions;




  • multidisciplinary and problem-based approaches to learning;
  • use of modern training, education and communication tools, such as the Internet and distance learning, to promote regional and inter-regional co-operation and networking in the development of curricula, exchange of experiences and development of supporting knowledge bases and resource materials; and
  • providing a balance of practical and theoretical approaches to train farmers and provide more skilful and innovative staff to industry.

3.2 Investting in research and development

There is a need to increase investment in aquaculture research, whilst making efficient use of research resources and building the capacity of research institutions to be more responsive to development requirements through such mechanisms as:

  • collaborative multidisciplinary research;
  • stakeholder participation in research identification and implementation;
  • improving linkages between research, extension and producers;
    collaborative funding arrangements between institutions and public and private sector organisations;
  • efficient communication networks;
  • regional and inter-regional co-operation; and
  • a continued effort to build the skills of researchers involved in aquaculture development.

3.3 Improving information flow and communication

Efficient management of the sector requires improved information flows at the national, regional and inter-regional levels which will avoid duplication of effort and save costs, while encouraging consistency in areas such as education and training, policy-making, planning and the application of rules and procedures.

Improved information flows will increase institutional capacities for dealing with emerging issues and can be achieved by:

  • establishing arrangements for sharing data and information;
  • strengthening national capacity to determine data requirements and data selection and management;
  • providing effective mechanisms for access to relevant and reliable information to all stakeholders; and
  • making effective use of new technologies to improve information flows and management policies and practices within aquaculture.

The collection and dissemination of accurate and verifiable information on aquaculture may help to improve its public image and should be given attention.

3.4 Improving food security and alleviating poverty

Enhancing food security and alleviating poverty are major and complementary global priorities. Aquaculture has a special role in achieving these objectives because, firstly, fish is a highly nutritious food that forms an essential, if not indispensable, part of the diet of a large proportion of the people in developing countries. Secondly, while aquaculture contributes to the livelihoods of poor farming households, particularly in areas of Asia where it is a traditional farming practice, there is a huge, unfulfilled potential in most countries, as aquaculture is a relatively recent and underdeveloped sector as compared to agriculture and animal husbandry. Aquaculture could improve food security, provide entry points and contribute to sustainable livelihoods for the poor through:

  • promoting poor-people-centred development focus in aquaculture sector policies, wherever appropriate;
  • promoting systems to farm low-value fish affordable to the poor, particularly small-scale household production in rural areas where it may be the only source of fish due to poor infrastructure;
  • disseminating information about the nutritional advantages of fish to vulnerable groups of people such as pregnant and lactating women, and families with infants and pre-school children;
  • greater use of holistic, participatory approaches to identify the poor and assess their needs; and to develop and extend aquaculture technologies appropriate to the resources and capabilities of poor households;
  • recognising that the development of small-scale aquaculture requires initial public sector support, with more support needed and for longer periods for poorer target groups; and
  • empowering poor stakeholders to actively participate in policy decision-making.




3.5 Improving environmental sustainability

There is a need to develop and adopt policies and practices that ensure environmental sustainability, including environmentally sound technologies and resource efficient farming systems, and integration of aquafarms into coastal area and inland watershed management plans. Improvements in environmental sustainability can be achieved through:

  • development, adoption and application of environmental, economic and social sustainability assessment criteria and indicators of aquaculture development;
  • development of and support to implementation of improved management practices and codes of good practice for aquaculture sectors that are supported by enforceable regulations and policy;
  • research and development of resource-efficient farming systems which make efficient use of water, land, seed and feed inputs; exploring the potential for commercial use of species feeding low in the food chain; and utilising enhancement techniques;
  • development of strategies to integrate aquaculture into the coastal areas and inland watershed management plans and ensuring aquaculture developments are within local and regional carrying capacities;
  • promotion of good practices for environmental management of aquaculture; and
  • promotion of aquaculture, where appropriate, as a means of improving environmental quality and resource use.

3.6 Integrating aquaculture into rural develoment

With the goal of increasing the impact of aquaculture on rural development and poverty alleviation, strategies are required to put people as the focal point for planning and development for such programmes and to integrate aquaculture into overall rural development programmes. In essence, this can be achieved through:

  • integrating aquaculture planning within overall rural development planning, taking into account multi-sectoral developments and views, and multi-sectoral co-ordination which brings agencies together;
  • integrating aquaculture with other rural development efforts to improve resource utilisation, such as integrated coastal area management and inland watershed management;
  • awareness-raising in other rural development sectors of the potential of aquaculture to improve livelihoods;
  • using participatory approaches to involve stakeholders in policy-making, planning, implementation and monitoring; and
  • the documentation and wide dissemination of information on experiences and utilisation of good practices and benefits thereof.

3.7 Investing in aquaculture development

Future investment in aquaculture should be made with long-term strategies in mind to ensure sustainability. Private sector investments make the biggest contribution to aquaculture development, but adequate public sector finance for capacity building, institutional development and infrastructure, is indispensable for society to reap the full benefits of a well managed and efficient aquaculture sector.
Sound investment strategies should include:

  • providing initial financial encouragement and facilitating investments in aquaculture development;
  • encouraging continued public investment in rural and small-scale aquaculture in developing countries, and in applied research and farmer access to knowledge and capital;
  • encouraging private sector funding and investment in aquaculture development and infrastructure which will provide the benefits of aquaculture to rural communities;
  • developing mechanisms (e.g., investment screens, credit linked to performance or adoption of best management practices, performance bonds) which encourage the growth of environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture, including economic, educational and other incentives for responsible aquaculture;
  • support to sponsorship of industry-driven codes of practice to promote responsible aquaculture;
  • fostering a greater understanding within financial institutions and bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies regarding aquaculture development and its financial needs; and




  • establishing credit schemes that support sustainable aquaculture, e.g., micro-credit programmes, particularly for small-scale development.

International development assistance is becoming increasingly directed towards poverty alleviation and needs to adhere to basic principles of social equity, including gender equity, environmental sustainability, technical feasibility, economic viability and good governance. The level of risk is important when supporting initiatives to address poverty alleviation.

To make efficient use of international donor resources, a programme approach to multi-sectoral development should be applied under which donors can more effectively co-operate and collaborate with each other. Ultimately, this should occur within comprehensive planning and development frameworks. There is thus a need for donors to adopt more cohesive approaches and procedures.

3.8 Strengthening institutional support

One of the key issues for the growth of aquaculture will be the ability of countries and organisations to strengthen their institutional capacity to establish and implement policy and regulatory frameworks that are both transparent and enforceable. Incentives, especially economic incentives, deserve to be given more attention in the planning and management of aquaculture development.
Institutional capacity should be made more effective and strengthened through:

  • developing a clear aquaculture policy, andidentification of a lead agency with adequate organisational stature to play a strong co-ordinating role;
  • developing, through a participatory approach, comprehensive and enforceable laws, regulations and administrative procedures that encourage sustainable aquaculture and promote trade in aquaculture products;
  • providing education and training, research and extension services to support the development of enforceable legislation, policy and regulatory frameworks, encompassing economic and other incentives to improve aquaculture management;
  • targeting not only government ministries and public sector agencies dealing with administration, education, research and development, but also organisations and
  • institutions representing the private sector, NGOs, consumers and other stakeholders;
  • developing mechanisms and protocols for the timely collection and reporting of statistics;
  • sharing information on policies and legislation, rules and procedures that encompass best practices in aquaculture;
  • clarifying legal frameworks and policy objectives regarding access and user rights for farmers; and
  • improving the capacity of institutions to develop and implement strategies targeting poor people.

3.9 Applying innovations in aquaculture

The technologies for sustainable aquaculture development should provide a varied and adaptable “tool box” from which people can select and design the system which most effectively meets their needs and best fits the opportunities and constraints of the local environment. The delivery of such techniques requires efficient communication networks, reliable data on the merits and drawbacks of the various approaches, and help with the decision making process through which people choose their production systems and species.

As we move into the next two decades, water and land for aquaculture will become critical issues. New opportunities for aquaculture development will also emerge through improvements in science and technology for aquaculture systems.

The potential areas for further consideration include:

  • technologies for sustainable stock enhancement and ranching programmes, and open ocean aquaculture;
  • increased use of aquatic plants and animals as nutrient stripping;
  • increased emphasis on integrated systems to improve environmental performance; and
  • emerging technologies (e.g., recirculating systems, offshore cage culture, integrated water use, artificial upwelling and ecosystem food web management).

3.10 Improving cultured-based fisheries and enhancements

Fisheries enhancements in inland and coastal waters include culture-based fisheries and habitat modifications in common pool aquatic resources, which require minimal food and energy inputs.




These practices therefore provide important opportunities for resource poor sections of the population to benefit from relevant aquaculture technologies and permit efficient use of under-utilised, new or degraded resources. Culture-based fisheries in particular have considerable potential for increasing fish supplies from both freshwater and marine fisheries and generating income in rural inland and coastal areas.

The full potential of enhancements and culture-based fisheries could be achieved by:

  • creating conducive institutional arrangements to enable and sustain investment in common pool resources;
  • providing appropriate research and development inputs;
  • managing environmental and other external impacts; and
  • promoting effective regional co-operation and information exchange.

3.11 Managing aquatic animal health

Disease is currently an important constraint to aquaculture growth which has impacted both socio-economic development and rural livelihoods in some countries. Addressing aquatic animal health issues has, therefore, become an urgent requirement for sustaining growth of aquaculture, especially through pro-active programmes. Harmonising health protection approaches and measures and effective co-operation at national, regional and inter-regional levels are needed to maximise the effectiveness of limited resources.

This can be achieved through:

  • developing, harmonising and enforcing appropriate and effective national, regional and inter-regional policies and regulatory frameworks on introduction and movement of live aquatic animals and products to reduce the risks of introduction, establishment and spread of aquatic animal pathogens and resulting impacts on aquatic biodiversity;
  • capacity building at both the institutional and farmer levels through education and extension;
  • developing and implementing effective national disease reporting systems, databases, and other mechanisms for collecting and analysing aquatic animal disease information;
  • improving technology through research to develop, standardise and validate accurate
    and sensitive diagnostic methods, safe therapeutants, and effective disease control methodologies, and through studies into emerging diseases and pathogens;
  • promoting a holistic systems approach to aquatic animal health management, emphasising preventative measures and maintaining a healthy culture environment; and
  • developing alternate health management strategies such as the use of disease resistant, domesticated strains of aquatic animals to reduce impact of diseases.

Establishment of an effective international mechanism, such as an international task force which is outcome-oriented with focused strategies and milestones that are independent of vested interests, would be beneficial in reducing the losses due to diseases in aquaculture.

3.12 Improving nutrition in aquaculture

Nutrition and feeding strategies play a central and essential role in the sustainable development of the aquaculture sector. Feed development will need to give increased emphasis on efficient use of resources and reduction of feed waste and nutrient discharge. Fishmeal reduction in diets will be important to reduce feed costs and avoid competition with other users.

These can be achieved through:

  • increasing the understanding of dietary nutrient requirements of cultured species, including their application to practical culture conditions;
  • developing species-specific broodstock diets that allow complete domestication and maximal reproductivity and larval quality;
  • better understanding of larval nutritional requirements in order to develop suitable compound diets, which will further reduce the need for live food;
  • improving the understanding of the aquaculture farming systems and the potential nutrient loads and losses to the environment, to maximise nutrient retention efficiency;
  • improving the use of agricultural and fishery by-products and non-food grade feed materials, and basing feeding strategies, wherever possible, on the use of renewable feed ingredient sources;




  • better understanding of nutrient bioavailability and interactions of commonly used feed ingredients;
  • better understanding of the mechanisms of nutrient modulation of disease resistance as well as improved strategies to minimise toxicity of nutrients and other compounds of feed origin;
  • promotion of “good aquaculture feed manufacturing practice” and ”good on-farm feed management;” and
  • ensuring that limitations in the selection and trade of raw materials for aquaculture feeds are based on sound, documented scientific facts.

3.13 Applying genetics to aquaculture

Genetics has an important role to play in increasing productivity and sustainability in aquaculture through higher survival, increased turnover rate, better use of resources, reduced production costs and environmental protection. This will require resources, but the benefits in both the short and long term should justify these efforts.

There are many elements and practices of genetics that may be considered for aquaculture. Recognising that aquaculture has not benefited as much as terrestrial animal husbandry from the adoption of best practices such as selective breeding and stock improvement programmes, high priority should be given to the application of genetics in aquaculture. The interventions include:

  • developing and utilising improved domestication and broodstock management practices and efficient breeding plans to improve production in aquatic animals;
  • designing and promoting strategies for equitable dissemination of genetic techniques and genetically improved organisms;
  • encouraging public awareness and providing information to consumers on the application of genetics;
  • greater application of genetic technologies to the conservation of aquatic biodiversity; and
  • addressing the potential implications for aquaculture, including environmental and human health implications, in a precautionary, safe and practical way.

3.14 Applying biotechnology

Biotechnology as a science has the potential to impact on all food production sectors. In the future the aquaculture sector will confront the issue of biotechnology through:

  • developing and applying biotechnological innovations for advances in nutrition, genetics, health, and environmental management;
  • addressing the potential implications for aquaculture of biotechnology, including GMOs and other products, in a precautionary, safe and practical way; and
  • encouraging public awareness and providing information to consumers on the potential applications of biotechnology.

3.15 Improving food quality and safety

As consumer awareness increases, aquaculture producers, suppliers and processors will need to improve the quality of products and enhance product safety and nutritional value. The incentives for this will be potentially higher prices, lower insurance rates and increased consumer demand.
This can be achieved through:

  • improvements in diets, feeding regimes and harvesting strategies to enhance product quality and nutritional value of aquaculture products;
  • promoting the application and adoption of international food safety standards, protocols and quality systems in line with international requirements such as the Codex Alimentarius;
  • adopting international protocols for residue monitoring in aquaculture and fisheries products;
  • appropriate and informative labelling of aquaculture feeds, including information on additives, growth promoters and other ingredients.
  • collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant and scientifically sound information to allow producers and industry operators to make informed decisions and ensure consumer confidence in the food safety of aquaculture products;
  • application of appropriate safety assessments based on risk analysis and the precautionary approach prior to market approval, including products from modern biotechnology; and
  • increasing consumer confidence in aquaculture products by ensuring that industry takes responsibility for the production and distribution of safe products, utilising systems that allow traceability of product ingredients, including information on packaging, processing and production conditions.




3.16 Promoting market development and trade

A focus on market development and trade will increase demand, add value and increase returns for aquaculture products. This will require developing marketing and promotional strategies for aquaculture products and understanding consumer requirements and changing market demands.

These goals can be achieved through:

  • reducing trade barriers for aquatic products;
  • assisting producers, processors and manufacturers in identifying markets for aquaculture inputs, products and technology;
  • providing data for, and investing in, information-technology based market-information systems that are easily accessed by producers and processors;
  • researching changing consumption patterns, market segmentation trends and the emergence of new markets and products; and
  • ensuring transparency in the chain of custody (“chain traceability”) of aquatic products and encouraging the provision of relevant information to consumers through product labelling (e.g., nutritional values, environmental friendliness).

3.17 Supporting strong regional and inter-regional co-operation

Over the years, regional and inter-regional co-operation has brought considerable benefits to aquaculture development through disse-mination of knowledge and expertise. In an era of globalisation, further strengthening of this co-operation at all levels will ensure increased benefits for sectoral development and sustainability.

This could be achieved through:

  • supporting and strengthening existing regional organisations;
  • improving inter-regional collaboration and networking between existing regional organisations to ensure synergy;
  • encouraging the formation and development of regional organisations for aquaculture development in regions where they are lacking; and facilitating in-country support for the establishment and operation of these organisations.
  • The Conference noted there are issues relevant to aquaculture development that require a strong global focus to be addressed and that this need might best be achieved by establishing a global intergovernmental forum within an appropriate existing international organisation, having sustainable aquaculture development as its primary focus, and with a mandate for discussion, decision and agreement on technical and policy matters.


1.1 The Conference encourages States, the private sector and other concerned organisations to implement Strategies for Development of Aquaculture Beyond 2000.

1.2 The aquaculture sector has become considerably more diverse since the Kyoto Conference and has developed a broad range of stakeholders. This diversity provides considerable opportunity for productive co-operation.

1.3 The Conference recognises that the primary responsibilities for development and implementation of these strategies rest with States and their private sectors. The Conference recommends that States develop strategies through encouraging private sector development incorporating the key elements identified above.

1.4 The Conference further affirms that co-operative mechanisms among countries provide an excellent opportunity to co-ordinate and support the development of aquaculture, through sharing of experiences, technical support, and allocation of responsibilities for the varied research, education and information exchange. The fostering of co-operation among developing countries deserves special attention and support.

1.5 Furthermore, the Conference recommends that effective use of existing regional and inter-regional mechanisms be made, and that decision-makers seek to promote synergy and co-operation between existing organisations. Where effective regional inter-governmental organisations to promote co-operation in aquaculture development do not exist, such as in Africa and Latin America, building of such mechanisms, and sharing experiences with the existing regional networks, is recommended.

1.6 The Conference notes that there are considerable opportunities for enhanced regional and inter-regional co-operation among different partners including governments, non-governmental organisations, farmers organi-sations, regional and international organisations, development agencies, donors and lending agencies with a common interest in development through aquaculture.

1.7 In this regard, the Conference strongly recommends the development of an effective programme of regional and inter-regional co-operation to assist in implementation of the Strategies for Aquaculture Development Beyond 2000.