There is strong consensus among the participants that inadequate aquatic animal health management is a risk to rural livelihoods of people involved in small-scale aquaculture and enhanced/stocked fisheries in Asia. Health problems can impact on the livelihoods of rural, resource-poor aqua-farmers, fishers and their dependants, through loss of production, income and assets.
The workshop recognises that health problems in enhanced fisheries (i.e., flood-plain stocking, open-water enhancement etc.) are often beyond the control of rural communities, although rural poor are most at risk from such problems.
The risks and impacts of disease in small-scale aquaculture systems and fisheries are different in different countries and the interventions for mitigation may be different.
The participants are of the strong opinion that the root cause of these risks is the "inadequate knowledge-base" within the system. There are many fundamental inadequacies. They include:
There is a need to better understand aquatic animal health risks, impacts and their management within the context of improving rural livelihoods. Follow-up activities should be developed to rectify this shortfall.
The development of institutional capacity, structure and mechanisms for delivering effective extension and training, taking into consideration the farmers skills and knowledge, is required. Learning from farmers and improving interaction between different stakeholders is vital to the overall health management process in rural aquaculture.
Research, geared to find solutions to field problems, designed and conducted with farmers, leading towards cost-effective and practical solutions, is necessary for successful aquatic animal health management in rural aquaculture.
The workshop further recommended that FAO, NACA, and DFID continue to collaborate, in partnership with other relevant and interested agencies and institutions, in support of the above.
The following more specific follow-up actions were also identified to assist implementation of the above recommendations: