Director-General  QU Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu

Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20

Opening Statement

Dr. QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General 

23 September 2021


Ladies and gentlemen,

1.         This Global Conference on Aquaculture is the fourth one to be organized by FAO and its partners.

2.         First, I wish to thank the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China and others for co-organizing this conference.

3.         These conferences are key events marking turning points in global aquaculture development.

4.         The Shanghai Declaration on Aquaculture for Food and Sustainable Development that will be adopted by this conference is a commitment and call for action to shape the future path of aquaculture in the world.

5.         The Shanghai Conference will provide guidance on aquaculture’s contributions to global agri-food systems and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

6.         In line with the global commitment to the 2030 Agenda.

7.         Aquaculture already plays an important role in “Leaving no one behind” which means all our efforts and actions must focus on everyone everywhere, in order to end hunger and poverty.

8.         Aquaculture’s contribution to agri-food systems and SDGs will continue to grow, for the following three key reasons:

9.         First – Aquaculture provides safe, affordable, nutritious and healthy foods.

10.       Aquaculture has established its crucial role in global food security, with its production largely meeting the supply-demand gap for aquatic food over the past decades.

11.       Increased aquaculture production, improvements along its value chain, shifting consumer habits, and other socio-economic factors have contributed to doubling the average per capita consumption of aquatic foods over the past 60 years.

12.       Even though human population has more than doubled in the same period.

13.       Fish farmers in Asia have clearly shown how aquaculture can grow and supply aquatic food for an ever-growing demand.

14.       Aquaculture is the fastest growing agri-food sector worldwide.

15.       And it is estimated that it will supply more than 60 percent of fish globally in the next decade.

16.       The experience from Asia suggests a huge potential for aquaculture to expand not only in Asia, but also in Africa, and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

17.       Second – Aquaculture needs to focus on people, and their communities.

18.       Specifically, women, youth, children, Indigenous Peoples, the elderly, the vulnerable, the poor and the hungry.

19.       Aquaculture production will continue to grow, but the benefits of this growth must be equitable and fairly distributed.

20.       We must all perceive and promote the human, social, cultural and economic dimensions of aquaculture.

21.       Sustainable Aquaculture cannot grow in isolation - it is a key part of the global agri-food systems.

22.       And as such, it must respect and enhance sustainable development by implementing social, economic and environmental policies and practices coherently.

23.       This brings me to my third point:

24.       Aquaculture must be efficient, inclusive and resilient and sustainable in an holistic design.

25.       The development of the aquaculture sector must follow the principals of effective governance and up-to-date innovation.

26.       This means taking action to minimize and address negative impacts on the environment to produce more with less,

27.       Eliminating conflicts with local communities with more inclusiveness, and

28.       Ensuring the rights of all people.

29.       There are more blue technologies and management to be central in the new resilience for Sustainable Aquaculture.

30.       Aquaculture plays an important role in FAO’s new Strategic Framework 2022-2031 as part of a Blue Transformation priority programme, with the objective of achieving a 35 - 40% growth in global aquaculture by 2030.

31.       Aquaculture can also play a key role in FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative to accelerate agri-food systems transformation.

32.       We are ready to strengthen global efforts through the Global Sustainable Aquaculture Advancement Partnership, between the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences and FAO.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

33.       FAO’s Strategic Framework is based on the principles of the “Four Betters”: better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all – leaving no one behind!

34.       The Shanghai Declaration is a call for global action.

35.       I look forward to the solutions and suggestions from your discussions over the next few days.

36.       Thank you.