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In 1995, out of the total global fishery production of 112.3 million tons, aquaculture (excluding aquatic plants) contributed 21.3 million tons with a value of over US$40 billion. Aquaculture production from Asia and the Pacific region accounted for over 80% of the global production; and it is interesting to note that China alone produced about 50% of the global production.

In Asia, aquaculture is a part of rural life - and most of the production comes from the culture systems in homestead ponds, and ricefields, etc. Traditionally, rural aquaculture has made substantial contribution to rural household food supply, nutrition and health, and income generation. However, todate, the whole concept of rural aquaculture as to its definition, system and scale of operation, its extent and potential for development has not been elaborated. This publication is a bold attempt to put forward an overview of rural aquaculture and to provide a framework for further studies and country reviews. I hope that this will generate awareness and interest in the various issues related to the development of sustainable rural aquaculture through its integration into the overall farming system.

Regional Aquaculture Officer

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