International mechanisms for the control and responsible use of alien species in aquatic ecosystems
Report of an Ad Hoc Expert Consultation
Xishuangbanna, People's Republic of China
27–30 August 2003

Rome, © FAO 2005

Table of Contents

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ISBN 92-5-105368-5

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Preparation of this document

This document contains the report of and papers presented at the Ad hoc Expert Consultation, International Mechanisms for the Control and Responsible Use of Alien Species in Aquatic Ecosystems, held 27–30 August 2003, in Xishuangbanna, People's Republic of China. The Consultation was sponsored by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Mekong River Commission (MRC), Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific (NACA), University of California Sea Grant College Program (UCSG), World Conservation Union (IUCN), Ministry of Agriculture of the Peoples Republic of China, the FAO Fish Code Programme and the FAO/Netherlands Partnership Programme (FNPP); it was hosted by the Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Agriculture and the Xishuangbanna Fisheries Administration and Regulation Station. The contents were compiled and edited by Devin M. Bartley (FAO), Ram C. Bhujel (AIT), Simon Funge-Smith (FAO), Paul G. Olin (UC SeaGrant), and Michael J. Phillips (NACA); Devin M. Bartley was overall editor with layout and design by Daniela Scicchigno.


The use of alien species is a proven means to increase production and value from aquatic ecosystems. In the Mekong/Lanchang Basin, alien species such as tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) play an important role in providing cheap and readily available protein to rural and poor sectors. However, alien species are now recognized as one of the most significant threats to aquatic biodiversity. Members of FAO and signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity have obligated themselves to manage and control alien species that may adversely impact ecosystems. There are a range of international mechanisms that have been established to assist countries in meeting international obligations and responsibilities. The coverage of these international instruments, the signatory countries and the degree to which they are implemented varies throughout the world. Implementation is often difficult due to lack of awareness at national level of responsibilities under the respective instruments, problems with enforcement, and lack of basic information and capacity to undertake risk assessment. Several steps are necessary for effective use and control of alien species, but one of the most important was identified to be following codes of practice similar to that developed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. The development and use of indigenous species are options to the use of alien species. However, indigenous species have not received the same amount of attention, research, development and use as many alien species. Regional coordination of policies and practices on alien species is needed for effective national management. National policies need to be in place and the population needs to be aware of issues before countries can implement international mechanisms. Thus, regional coordination and national policy development are necessary actions that should go hand in hand in order to facilitate implementation of broader international agreements.

Bartley, D.M.; Bhujel, R.C.; Funge-Smith, S.; Olin, P.G.; Phillips, M.J. (comps./eds.)
International mechanisms for the control and responsible use of alien species in aquatic ecosystems.
Report of an Ad Hoc Expert Consultation. Xishuangbanna, People's Republic of China, 27–30 August 2003.
Rome, FAO. 2005. 195p.

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Table of Contents

Preparation of this document


I.     Report of the meeting

II.     Contributed papers

International Instruments

FAO mechanisms for the control and responsible use of alien species in fisheries
Devin M. Bartley / Felix J.B. Marttin / Matthias Halwart

Mechanisms of the Convention on Biological Diversity for the control and responsible use of alien species in fisheries
Devin M. Bartley / Isabel J. Fleischer

Summary overview of health management and alien species in aquatic ecosystems
Michael Phillips / C.V. Mohan / Rohana Subasinghe

Overview of selected international agreements related to alien species in aquatic ecosystems
Patricia Moore

Information sources on alien aquatic species
Felix Marttin

Country reports

Present status of alien species in aquaculture and aquatic ecosystem in Cambodia
Sam Nuov / Hav Viseth / Ouk Vibol

Introduction and management of alien aquatic species in China
Li Sifa

Alien aquatic species in Lao People's Democratic Republic
Boonthong Saphakdy / Kamphet Rodger

Alien aquatic species in Myanmar
U Hla Win

Aquatic alien species in Thailand (Part 1): Biodiversity
Chavalit Vidthayanon

Aquatic alien species in Thailand (Part 2): aquatic animal diseases
Somnklat Kanchanakhan

Viet Nam national report on alien species
Le Thanh Luu / Nguyen VanThanh

Case studies

Aquaculture in the Mekong basin: alien or indigenous species?
Niklas S. Mattson / Naruepon Sukumasavin Somboon / Nguyen Minh Thanh / Ouk Vibol

Codes of practice for the introduction and transfer of marine and freshwater organisms
Ursula M. Kolkolo

The introduction of Penaeus vannamei and P. stylirostris into the Asia-Pacific Region
Simon Funge-Smith / Matthew Briggs

Role of exotic species in aquaculture: problems and prospects in Indochina
Amararatne Yakupitiyage / Ram C. Bhujel

III. Annexes

List of participants

List of organizations dealing with alien species in aquaculture and fisheries