Pertes et gaspillages de nourriture dans les chaînes de valeur de la pêche et de l’aquaculture
©FAO/Ansen Ward


Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Aquaculture plays an important role in food security and nutrition and sustainable livelihoods for coastal and inland communities. Almost all fish produced from aquaculture are destined for human consumption, although by-products may be used for non-food purposes.

Aquaculture employs men and women and encompasses all activities along the value chain. Aquaculture also contributes significantly to global fish catches, providing nutritious food for local, national, and international markets and generate income to support local and national economies.

Aquaculture encompasses small household enterprises as well as multi-national companies with large investments spanning different continents. Aquaculture can be low input with basic equipment and simple feeds or highly mechanized and employing advanced feeding harvesting and processing technology. Approximately 30% of aquaculture is non-fed aquaculture e.g. extensive pond systems and molluscs, seaweed.

Aquaculture systems include:

  • Pond production – extensive, semi-intensive or intensive
  • Recirculation systems
  • Cage farming
  • Integrated systems that combine aquaculture with agriculture
  • Aquaponics

The key causes of food loss and waste (FLW) during aquaculture are:

  • Poor harvesting practice
  • Mortality of fish during live fish marketing, as well as fish sold at a lower price point due to, for example, the presence of some damage
  • Poor handling leading to contamination and physical damage
  • Lack of cold chain
  • Rejection of product due to food safety risks or inappropriate documentation

Loss Scenarios

Handling After Harvest

Handling after harvest during aquaculture refers to the activities which take place when fish and shellfish are removed from the pond, cage or other production unit, and before the products are marketed for human consumption as food.

Misuse of Veterinary Drugs

Misuse of veterinary drugs can cause high levels of contaminants in harvested fish, leading to food safety concerns and the rejection of harvested product.

Mortality During Grow Out

Problems related to handling fish, water quality, and algal blooms can all lead to stress, disease, and ultimately cause fish mortality before harvesting.