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Aquaculture is an age-old industry in Asia and about 80 percent of current world production through aquaculture comes from this region. However, the industry has suffered from inadequate recognition and support for a long time and it is only in recent years that the governments have begun to devote attention to this important means of food production. Increased fishing pressure on natural fish stocks and the reduced yield from some of the conventional fisheries, together with expected changes in the Law of the Sea have served to focus special attention on aquaculture as a means of meeting fish production requirements in most countries of the region. Preliminary analyses of supply and demand for fishery products have shown that aquaculture is an effective means of filling the gaps in current and future supplies of many of the favoured aquafoods. The role of aquaculture in integrated rural development has also been recognized and the development of rural communities dependent on aquaculture as the main economic activity has received active consideration. The culture of species with export potential, like shrimps and prawns, is being attempted in a number of countries of the region. Thus large-scale development of aquaculture is being considered and included in many national development plans. However, it was deemed necessary to examine the current programmes in the light of medium- and long-term food production and economic development requirements in different countries and the basic requirements for sound development of the industry. The Second Regional Workshop on Aquaculture Planning was therefore organized by the FAO/UNDP Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme in Bangkok, 1-17 October 1975 in cooperation with the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Far East and the Government of Thailand, to cover the Asian region. As in the case of the First Regional Workshop held in Accra, Ghana, 2-17 July 1975, the objectives of the Workshop were to:

(a) discuss the basic data required for the formulation of sound aquaculture development plans;

(b) consider the levels of aquaculture development suited to different socio-economic and ecological situations;

(c) evaluate organizational, financial and technological requirements for the implementation of development programmes, with special reference to the production and distribution of inputs, training of manpower and building of extension services;

(d) consider ways and means of overcoming legal and environmental constraints on aqua-culture development;

(e) formulate and discuss phased outline development plans for each of the participating countries; and

(f) identify external assistance required for the implementation of aquaculture development in each of the participating countries and discuss the national, regional and inter-regional elements of the required assistance.

It was held in the FAO Regional Office, Bangkok, and was attended by participants from ten selected countries of the region (see Annex I). The agenda followed is given in Annex II.

The Workshop was opened by Mr. S.H. Prakoso, Deputy Regional Representative for Asia and the Far East in Bangkok. He emphasized that "from the environmental, social, economic and technological points of view Asia is well suited to maintain and enhance its leadership" in the aquaculture field. Better scientific understanding of traditional Asian practices can lay the foundations for new technologies as has been exemplified by the rediscovery of culture systems such as polyculture and cage culture of fish, combination of fish farming with agriculture and animal husbandry, etc., in other parts of the world. He pointed out that greater national efforts supported and fostered through regional and inter-regional cooperation are required to facilitate the improvement and transfer of such technologies. Although aquaculture can be developed in different ways and at different levels, integration of aquaculture with rural development has special importance in Asia with its large population of small farmers and small fishermen living in rural areas seriously affected by unemployment and underemployment. He emphasized the need for cooperation between national governments and agencies concerned with rural development and the coordination of current and future activities in this sector.

As in the case of the First Workshop, this one was also organized in two stages. Stage I was attended by all the participants, who discussed the following basic considerations with a view to clarifying national policies and development strategies in the participating countries:

(i) Basic data required for aquaculture planning
(ii) Levels and patterns of aquaculture development
(iii) Role of public and private sectors in aquaculture development
(iv) Organization of aquaculture services for small- and industrial-scale development of aquaculture
(v) Research support and extension services for aquaculture development
(vi) Manpower requirements and training of personnel
(vii) Market surveys for aquaculture planning
(viii) Handling and marketing of aquaculture products
(ix) Development of auxiliary or supporting industries
(x) Financing and credit for aquaculture development
(xi) Legal and environmental aspects of aquaculture development
(xii) Incentives for aquaculture development
(xiii) Bilateral and multilateral assistance for aquaculture development
(xiv) Regional and inter-regional cooperation in aquaculture.

In Stage II of the Workshop, draft outlines of national aquaculture development plans for the participating countries were prepared (Annex III) and discussed. The national development plans set a targeted production of about 3.0 million tons in a period of ten years as follows:




162 500

Hong Kong

22 500


1 456 000


305 400


50 859


6 700


701 700


1 625

Sri Lanka

73 080


224 390


3 004 754

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