On a global scale aquaculture has been growing steadily in the past decades. The global demand for aquaculture products is driven by an increasing world population, stagnant capture fisheries production and a growing awareness of the positive impact of consumption of fish and other aquatic products on human health. Fish and other seafood have become important export commodities for several developing countries. Especially in East, South and S.E. Asia aquaculture is a well-established and growing sector.
Aquaculture sector governance and improvements at farm-level
But not everywhere and not always on a responsible manner.
In many other regions however aquaculture development has been slow and problematic due a lack of tradition with aquaculture; insufficient availability of inputs (feeds, fingerlings, credit); lack of trained personnel; unsuitable and unsupportive legal framework and other factors. In the countries and regions where aquaculture has developed, its growth often came with ecological and social costs. Large areas of wetlands were privatised and converted to ponds, affecting the livelihoods of local communities. Pumping of fresh or saline water affects the level and salinity of groundwater tables and the availability of good quality drinking water. Pond effluent is often discharged to the environment without any treatment. Unchecked increase of cage farms has affected water quality and contributed to fish disease problems.
Better sector governance, improvements at farm level
The formulation of policies, strategies and action plans for aquaculture development require the involvement of all stakeholders, taking the ecosystem where development is taking place (or planned) as a basis. At farm level best management practices should be applied and environmentally responsible methods and techniques can be used to reduce negative impacts and ensure the long-term sustainability.
Main objectives of the course
The course aims to
- train policy makers, researchers, teachers, extension officers, farm managers and private sector representatives in making strategic sector management plans in line with the FAO ecosystem approach to aquaculture;
- orient them about the possibilities and design principles of more intensive aquaculture techniques such as recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS);
- make them familiar with better management practices and certification standards that are growing in importance on the western food market
The course will be organised in cooperation with Wageningen University and private companies.