Table of Contents Next Page


The first world meeting concerned with aquaculture was organized by FAO in the year 1966 (The World Symposium on Warm-Water Pond Fish Culture, Rome, Italy, 18–25 May 1966). One of the recommendations of this symposium was that a similar symposium on fish culture should be held in five years' time “to review the major changes, trends and innovations which may have occurred in this period”. The FAO World Scientific Conference on the Biology and Culture of Shrimps and Prawns held in Mexico City soon after this symposium in 1967 recommended that “an FAO World Conference be organized on the subjects of artificial rearing of marine organisms of commercial importance and habitat improvement”. The Technical Conference on Fishery Management and Development held in Vancouver, Canada, 13–23 February 1973 strongly endorsed the idea of holding a World Technical Conference on Aquaculture and urged FAO to organize it as soon as possible.

Since the 1966 World Symposium aquaculture has assumed increased importance in many countries and considerable technological advances have been achieved. The numbers of species and systems of culture in use have also increased very appreciably. It was therefore decided to hold a series of regional symposia to review progress and problems in different regions and to hold the world conference afterwards to synthesize on a global basis the experience gained and to formulate actions for the future. The first of the regional symposia was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1970 on Coastal Aquaculture in the Indo-Pacific Region, and the last of the series was the one on Aquaculture in Africa in Accra, Ghana, in 1975.

Based on the results of these regional meetings the world conference was held to:

  1. synthesize on a global basis the experience so far gained in the development of aquaculture including natural resource improvement;

  2. provide a world forum for farmers, industrialists, scientists, technicians and administrators concerned with aquaculture for the exchange of views and pooling of experience in order to solve relevant problems and further aquaculture development;

  3. review the state of the technology relating to the different aquaculture systems and identify the areas in which research and developmental efforts are needed;

  4. focus attention on scientific and technical problems, the solutions of which could be facilitated through international cooperation;

  5. examine the social, legal and economic factors affecting aquaculture development, with particular reference to the levels and patterns of organization of the industry;

  6. consider research, training and other infrastructure requirements of the industry; and

  7. formulate strategies to overcome the major constraints on aquaculture development and provide guidance for rapid achievement of the potential for expansion and intensification of the industry.

The Conference was intended to bring together all interests directly concerned with aquaculture; scientists, administrators, industrialists and financiers, representing government, academic and private institutions. It was attended by 308 participants and 155 observers from 38 countries and 10 international, intergovernmental and nongovernmental agencies (Annex I). Simultaneous interpretation in English, French, Spanish and Japanese was provided.

The Agenda followed is given in Annex II. The Conference was opened on 26 May 1976 by the Honourable S. Abe, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Japan. Mr. Y. Uchimura, Director-General, Fishery Agency, Japan, served as the Conference Chairman and Mr. J. Perrot (France) and Mr. F. Gómez-Rodriguez (Cuba) as the Vice-Chairmen. The welcome address by the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Mr. I. Arakatsu, the address of the Honourable S. Abe, the Conference Chairman's address and the address by Dr. H. Kasahara, Director, FIR, Department of Fisheries, FAO, are appended (Annex II - VI).

The main conference was organized in 12 sessions and 5 special sessions, each technical session being conducted in the form of panel discussions. The main documentation consisted of 39 review papers prepared by invited authors and 82 experience papers contributed by specialists from different countries (see Annex VII).

In each of the main sessions, except the last, panel members introduced the more important topics for discussion, with a review of the Conference documents relevant to the topic. In the session on conclusions and recommendations a summary report of the Conference, a Declaration on Aquaculture, and the main recommendations of the Conference drafted by a specially appointed Drafting Committee consisting of Dr. Clarence Idyll (U.S.A.), Chairman, Ian Pritchard (Canada), Peter Hjul (U.K.) and V.R. Pantulu (ESCAP), were discussed and adopted.

An International Festival of Aquaculture Films was held in conjunction with the Conference for the purpose of encouraging the production of instructional and informational films for training and extension work. It took the form of a competition and 21 of the entries (Annex VIII) were selected for screening. A Jury consisting of Dr. S.W. Ling (U.S.A. - Chairman), Dr. Harold Webber (U.S.A.), S.D.R. Jayaratne (Sri Lanka), R. Okada (Japan) and G. De Sabatino (FAO - Secretary), selected two instructional and two informational films for awards. The films entitled “Fish Farming in Japan” from Japan and “Induced Breeding” from India were judged the best informational film and instructional film respectively and were presented with the FAO Osirus awards. Certificates of merit were given to the informational film “Experimental Fish Farming with Coho Salmon” from Canada and the instructional film “The Induced Breeding and Rearing of Grey Mullet” from U.S.A.

Top of Page Next Page