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FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 58 is out

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0100

This issue of FAN contains an invited editorial on Aquaculture and Trade, and four main sections on: (1) Global aquaculture updates with an article from statistician's desk providing some notes on FAO Reported Aquaculture Statistics; one article from the fish health specialist's desk on Progressive Management Pathway to Improve Aquaculture Biosecurity; one article providing information on the ninth session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture and one contribution on a seminar held in FAO Headquarters on Aquaculture Opportunities in Small Island Developing States. (2) Aquaculture updates by region offers information on ongoing projects, activities and events by region particularly: three articles for Asia-Pacific; five articles for Europe; three articles for the Near East and North Africa; four articles for Latin America and the Caribbean; two articles for Sub-Saharan Africa. (3) There are three thematic articles on the following subjects: (i) Border Rejection Trends of Fishery and Aquaculture Products in European Union, United States of America and Japan; (ii) Aquaculture, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and FAO's Common Vision for Sustainable Food and Agriculture; (iii) Fish as a Poor People's Food. (4) Miscellaneous section contains two contributions with the following titles: (i) Necessary Elements for the Development and Management of Genetic Resources in Aquaculture; and (ii) A User-Friendly Tool for Investment Decision Making in Aquaculture. The three last sections focus on new staff profiles in the FAO Aquaculture Branch, new FAO aquaculture publications and Calendar of events.


Information: V. Crespi (image)

New technical manual on improving processing of sea cucumbers by artisanal fishers

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0100


This manual was produced to help artisanal fishers to understand how to best handle and process fresh sea cucumbers into quality dried beche-de-mer. Well-processed sea cucumbers fetch high prices but a lack of care in processing will result in low prices for fishers and exported products. The manual provides instructions on best-practice methods of how to handle, cut, cook, smoke, dry, store and sell tropical sea cucumbers. The manual includes a section on responsible fishing as it does not encourage an increase in fishing efforts, but seeks to make the best outcome out of the animals already harvest in harmony with FAO principles espoused in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The original manual was published by the Pacific Community (SPC) and now available in several language including English, French and now Arabic.


Consensus reached by multistakeholders to support a risk-based, progressive and collaborative pathway/tool to improve aquaculture biosecurity

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0100

Table of materials and presentations


FAO, the Mississippi State University (MSU) and the World Bank (WB) convened, a multistakeholder consultation (10-12 April 2018, Washington DC) participated by some 45 delegates from governments, industry and academe, and discussed a progressive management pathway (PMP), a potential tool to put appropriate and sustainable levels of risk management in aquaculture production systems. The sheer numbers of cultured species (more than 500 species), stakeholders and enterprises in the supply/value chain, the diversity of aquaculture containment, systems, environments, size of farming operation and management, the pathogens/disease themselves (single, multi-infection, syndromes, cryptic), the emergence and rapid spread of infections, the multiplicity of spread pathways, all combine to present an enormous challenge for management, at all levels.

Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director General of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, noted the global aquaculture situation in 2016 – that produced 80 million tonnes of food fish valued at US$231.6 billion. Production and revenue losses caused by diseases are detrimental to the sustainability of the industry and its future, especially because the large majority of aquaculture production still comes from rural smallholders with little or weak capacity to respond to disease outbreaks. MSU's Associate Dean Mark Lawrence hoped that this initiative can help address worldwide problems in this area that will help all stakeholders to make positive progress. Vincent Xavier, Lead Fisheries Specialist, WB, said that this consultation aligns very well with WB's mandate to eliminate world poverty and the Blue Economy. He informed of WB's reinforcing investment in the fisheries and aquaculture sector and believed on the importance to learn from collective disease experience.

The PMP for Aquaculture Biosecurity (PMP-AB), an extension of the "Progressive Control Pathways" (PCP), used for controlling major livestock and zoonotic diseases, focuses on building management capacity through a combined bottom-up/top-down approaches with strong stakeholder engagement to promote application of risk management at producer level as part of the national approach. The PMP-AB consists of 4 Stages which lead to a sustainable and resilient national aquaculture system. Moving from one stage to another should meet a set of minimum entry requirements and a detailed plan for implementation in the following stage must be prepared. 'Gateway passes' are usually in the form of Biosecurity Action Plan.

The consensus reached was that the PMP-AB is a useful tool. Refinement and implementation should actively engage governance authorities and industry stakeholders to ensure buy-in, best-fit for country, but a template that provides a degree of consistency between participating countries or regions. Further work includes: further development of the technical aspects of the PMP-AB, wider consensus building, initial application, and resource mobilization. A second follow-up consultation is planned.

In his closing remarks, Vimlendra Sharan, Director of FAOLOW thanked all the participants and partners for this timely endeavour and noted that the uncertainties identified will help further shape the PMP and as with any new tool, guidance documents and resources for advocacy and training will be needed that will facilitate adoption at the national level.

New FAO publication on women in fisheries: Women's participation and leadership in fisherfolk organizations and collective action in fisheries: a review of evidence on enablers, drivers and barriers

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:00:00 +0100

This paper summarizes analyses of a global literature review on women in fisherfolk organizations. The aim of the study was to identify positive examples and lessons learned by pointing to the drivers - as well as the enablers and entities identified in the literature - that have a key role in fostering increased women's participation and leadership in collective action in fisheries.

Read more

New technical paper: Improving the performance of tilapia farming under climate variation: perspective from bioeconomic modelling

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0100

A bioeconomic model has been developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) based on experiences in China to show how optimal arrangements of farming operations can improve the technical and economic performance of tilapia pond aquaculture. This paper presents the methodology and results of the model. The results reveal the mechanisms and extent by which aquaculture performance can be improved through optimal farming arrangements.


Webinar: "Managing tuna fisheries data at a global scale: the Tuna Atlas VRE"

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0100

On 18th January 2018, 3pm CET BlueBRIDGE will host the webinar: "Managing tuna fisheries data at a global scale: the Tuna Atlas VRE" that presents how, through the Tuna Atlas Virtual Research Environment (VRE), users can easily produce their own datasets of fisheries at regional, multi-regional or global scale and how they can share these datasets in ways that allow other users to access, process and visualise them efficiently. 


FAO in Singapore to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Aquaculture and Fisheries

Mon, 5 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0100

Prospectus and presentations can be downloaded here.

Some 45 delegates from FAO member countries (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam), resource experts (China, Croatia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, USA), organizations (MSD Pharma Singapore, NACA, SEAFDEC-AQD) and FAO officers tackle the challenges and key issues concerning AMR in the aquatic sector.


AMR occurs when microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites affecting humans, terrestrial & aquatic animals and plants) become resistant to antimicrobial agents, thus making infections or diseases caused by such microorganisms more difficult or impossible to treat. While antimicrobials play a critical role for ensuring health and productivity, their imprudent use and the associated emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms place everyone at great risk.

This final workshop (12-14 December 2017), of the FAO Project FMM/RAS/298/MUL, hosted by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, in collaboration with INFOFISH, provides an important platform to improve the scientific understanding of AMR, to share experiences in setting governance mechanisms to support national action plans on AMR (within One Health and tripartite mechanism), to continuously enhance knowledge on food fish safety hazards, disease prevention, correct diagnostics, disease management and best practice (good biosecurity and good aquaculture) and future actions and capacity development needs to address AMR.

The aquatic sector benefits from the prudent use of antimicrobials in terms of improving on-farm biosecurity and husbandry (e.g. use of vaccines and disinfectants), treating chronic diseases (that cause reduced growth, low food conversion rate and poor survival thus leading to reduced production) and epizootic diseases (that can cause mass mortalities, there are concerns regarding threats posed by abuse, overuse, misuse; human and animal health issues; environmental and ecological issues; antimicrobial residues and AMR.

During the 68th World Health Assembly (May 2017), countries reaffirmed their commitment to develop AMR National Action Plans, based on the Global Action Plan on AMR – the blueprint for tackling AMR – developed in 2015 by the WHO in coordination FAO and OIE. Strengthening regulation of antimicrobials, improving knowledge and awareness, promoting best practices and fostering innovative approaches using alternatives to antimicrobials and new technologies for diagnosis and vaccines are key actions. Leaders at the UN General Assembly (UNGA September 2016) called on WHO, FAO and OIE, in collaboration with development banks such the World Bank other relevant stakeholders, to coordinate their planning and actions, support the development and implementation of National Action Plans and AMR activities at the national, regional and global levels and to report back to the UNGA in September 2018.

FAO, as the global authority on food and agriculture, will continue to provide technical assistance to members within the framework of One Health and the FAO Action Plan on AMR (2016-2020) focussing on the four pillars (awareness, evidence, best practice and governance) in support of Resolution 4/2015 on AMR adopted during the 39th FAO Conference (June 2015).

New FAO aquaculture publications pendrive (period 1999-2017) is now available

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0100

More than 1200 publications related to aquaculture, including technical papers, circulars, FAO reports, CD-ROMs, web-based products and newsletters, in both hard and electronic versions and in various FAO official languages have been published and distributed worldwide during that period, in both hard and electronic versions.

Publications have been assembled on this pen drive as Portable Document Format (PDF) files, in order to make them easily available, searchable and printable to all users especially those with limited access to the Internet.

The application is readable in Windows, Linux and Mac environments. Users can easily search publications through the publication list or through a free text-based search engine which performs search on titles, abstracts, authors, keywords and year of publication.

For further information (image)

New FAO Yearbook of fisheries and aquaculture statistics published!

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:00:00 +0100


The FAO Yearbook of fisheries and aquaculture statistics 2015 has been just officially released. This edition contains the most recent global statistics on capture fishery production, aquaculture production, commodities production and trade, apparent fish consumption derived from food balance sheets as well as statistics on fleets and employment of major producing countries. It is structured into a booklet (containing summary tables, relevant general notes, concepts and classifications, a pull-out map of FAO major fishing areas as well as a brief overview of major trends and issues relating to the individual statistical sets) and a CD-ROM presenting the full yearbook package with all the key information and the complete set of statistical tables.

The Yearbook is one of the tools through which users can access the different statistics collated and disseminated by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO. These include:

  1. FishStatJ - Software for fishery statistical time series offering experts and scientists a stand-alone application for complex and sophisticated data exploration and extraction.
  2. Online Query Panels enabling users to extract customized information and reports

Launch of the new Coordinating Working Party on Fisheries Statistics (CWP) website

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 12:00:00 +0100

A new and refreshed website of the Coordinating Working Party on Fisheries Statistics (CWP) is alive. The updated site includes changes to navigation, a refreshed look&feel, a section with highlights and relevant upcoming meetings, and importantly the new version of the CWP Handbook.

The primary goal of this upgrade was to provide the revised CWP handbook contents in a more dynamic and structured way so to allow for a more intuitive and easy navigation across sections, while adapting the contents of the old CWP website to the new FAO institutional image.

With this revamping the users will get more from a quick read through contents that we plan to be periodically updated so as the website will become a reference to all those belonging or related to the fisheries statistician's community.

For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please E-mail us at

A week of aquaculture discussions at COFI Aquaculture

Fri, 3 Nov 2017 12:00:00 +0100

The Ninth session of FAO's COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture wrapped up last week in Rome. The Sub-committee meeting brought together 188 delegates from 94 member countries and observers from regional fisheries bodies, international organizations and civil society organizations to review a full agenda of aquaculture-related items.

Read more

Six shrimp producing countries discuss the way forward to deal with IMNV disease of white-leg shrimp

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:00:00 +0100


The FAO inter-regional TCP project TCP/INT/3501 "Strengthening biosecurity governance and capacities for dealing with the serious shrimp infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV) disease" has the overall goal of strengthening institutional biosecurity governance for dealing with IMNV of whiteleg shrimp in selected countries (Brazil, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand). IMNV is an OIE-listed disease that was first observed in Brasil; Indonesia and very recently India are the other two countries currently positive for IMNV.

The final workshop of this TCP being held from 2-5 November 2017, in Qingdao, China in collaboration with the National Fisheries Technology Extension Center (NFTEC) and the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute (YSFRI) is aimed to: (i) present the outcomes of the Emergency Preparedness and Response System (EPRS) Audit, FAO self-assessment survey, and IMNV disease strategy manual; (ii) discuss the results of the IMNV surveillance and analysis of data; (iii) discuss through working group re: IMNV management and IMNV disease outbreak investigation; (iv) do laboratory work on IMNV diagnostics (IMNV PCR, histopathology); and (v) discuss the way forward.

The Opening session was graced by Ms Qingli, Director of Disease Prevention and Control Department of NFTEC; Mr Feng Zhang, Deputy Director of NFTEC and Mr Xianshi Jin, Director of Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute. Some 28 participants (Brasil: 2, Ecuador: 2; Indonesia: 2; Mexico: 1; Thailand: 2; China: 18; and FAO resource experts from Australia, Chile, USA and 1 translator) are in attendance. Mr Feng Zhang in his opening remarks hoped that "with the platform of the this FAO inter-regional TCP project and the Belt and Road Initiative, we can deepen our exchange with foreign experts, share epidemic prevention and control technologies and management experiences, especially solutions to the sustainable development of shrimp culture industry, so as to work together to achieve green and healthy development of this industry".

Prospectus and presentations are available here.

FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 57 is out

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:00:00 +0100

This issue of FAN contains an invited editorial on considerations related to nutrition and aquaculture vision for the future and four main sections on: (1) Global aquaculture updates with an article from statistician's desk presenting some considerations on collection of aquaculture statistics; one contribution from the fish health specialist on Tilapia Lake Virus (TLV). Three articles on important events particularly, Outcomes of the COFI- Sub-Committee on Fish Trade; Participation of FAO at the World Aquaculture Society 2017; and Conference-Dialogue on Blue Growth. (2) Aquaculture updates by region provides information on ongoing projects, activities and events by region particularly: four articles for Asia-Pacific; two articles for Europe; two articles for the Near East and North Africa; three articles for Latin America and the Caribbean; five articles for Sub-Saharan Africa. (3) There are four thematic articles on the following subjects: (i) Advancing sustainable aquaculture through Blue Growth; (ii) The impact of microplastic on food safety; (iii) Aquaculture in Small Islands Development States; and (iv) Aquaculture growth potential: short-term projection of fish demand. (4) Miscellaneous section contains three articles with the following titles: (i) Updates on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and (ii) Summary of the National Aquaculture Sector Overview of Morocco. The three last sections focus on new staff profiles in the FAO Aquaculture Branch, new FAO aquaculture publications and Calendar of events.


Information: V. Crespi (image)

CWP - Report of the Fifth Meeting of the Aquaculture Subject Group and the Twenty-sixth Meeting of the Fisheries Subject now available

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:00:00 +0100


The CWP Subject Groups - Aquaculture (CWP-AS) and Fisheries (CWP-FS) met in June 2017 to address matters related with the intersessional program for each Subject Group. The meeting reviewed the progress made since the Twenty-fifth session of the CWP and agreed on the actions for the second part of the intersessional period prior to the upcoming Twentysixth session of the CWP to be held prior to February 2019.

Full report here

FAO WriteShop 3 on Responsible Management of Bacterial Diseases in Aquaculture, 3-5 August 2017, Putrajaya, Malaysia

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Click for enlarged image

One of the most serious pathogen groups causing devastating effects to cultured species in aquaculture are bacterial pathogens. However, not so much attention is given to this group because they rarely act as primary pathogens but rather most commonly as opportunistic pathogens on already damaged or severely immunocompromised hosts and there are treatment regimens available.

The third WriteShop related to a publication Responsible Management of Bacterial Diseases in Aquaculture was held in Putrajaya from 3-5 August 2017. This publication will provide the impetus to the anticipated actions that governments are taking particularly in the development of National Action Plans (NAP) on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) - one of the strategies that underpins any intervention that will lead to reducing the development of AMR. It is essential to understand bacteria - they are the oldest life form on earth. They have survived 4 billion years because they have a remarkable ability to adapt to changes in their environment and since they are protean - they are mutable, flexible, versatile, adaptable and capable of adopting many forms. A good understanding as to how bacteria cause disease provides opportunities to manage the host, and use alternative treatments as well as effectively target key virulence factors for vaccines.

Some 38 pathogens belonging to six gram-negative and four gram-positive bacteria were considered as causing major bacterial diseases of cultured finfish, crustaceans and molluscs in fresh and marine waters. The selection of bacterial pathogens were based on a set of criteria developed by the experts, namely: (1) economic importance of affected species (2) socio-economic impact (3) zoonotic potential.

Important lessons in the past on the use of antibiotics to treat bacteria include essential considerations such as, e.g.: treatment should be based on correct diagnosis (i.e. antibiotics will work only against bacterial diseases); use antibiotics only when it is necessary, prudent and rational; antibiotic use should be used effectively and efficiently and be administered by a recognized professional; absence of susceptibility testing for the target bacterium is not good practice, imprudent and a waste of resources. Development of educational materials on prudent use, technical support for industry and aquatic animal health professionals and other stakeholders - is an urgent priority. It is hoped that this publication will serve this purpose.

West Balkans Regional Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnostic Manual

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0100

This West Balkans Regional Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnostic Manual is a handbook whose main purpose is to facilitate the daily duties at aquaculture farms and provide a useful reference that will answer the majority of practical questions posed by official veterinarians, veterinary inspectors and fish health experts in five Western Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia) ... [Read more]

Congratulations to the 2017 FAO Lizárraga Award winner!

Thu, 6 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0100


The 2017 FAO Margarita Lizárraga Medal Award was awarded to the Commission for the Conservation of Antartic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), based in Australia. CCAMLR was selected for its exemplary conservation and management of marine living resources in the Convention Area (the Southern Ocean covering around 10% of the Earth’s surface) in line with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The Commission’s sustainable ecosystem-sensitive approach balances environmental conservation with the rational utilization of resources and acts as a model for similar initiatives, with great potential to be replicated by other Regional Fishery Bodies.

Congratulations to the 2017 FAO Lizárraga Award winner!

Thu, 6 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +0100

The 2017 FAO Margarita Lizárraga Medal Award was awarded to the Commission for the Conservation of Antartic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), based in Australia. CCAMLR was selected for its exemplary conservation and management of marine living resources in the Convention Area (the Southern Ocean covering around 10% of the Earth's surface) in line with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The Commission’s sustainable ecosystem-sensitive approach balances environmental conservation with the rational utilization of resources and acts as a model for similar initiatives, with great potential to be replicated by other Regional Fishery Bodies.


Seminar: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Small-Scale Fisheries

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:00:00 +0100

30 JUNE 2017, 10:00 – 11:30 | This seminar presents experiences and lessons from a major research initiative, Too Big To Ignore (TBTI): Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research, highlighting the unique database on small-scale fisheries, findings from the 'big question' research, and the new "Transdisciplinarity in Fisheries" training course.

Read more

New publication online: Social and economic performance of tilapia farming in Africa

Thu, 8 Jun 2017 12:00:00 +0100

World tilapia aquaculture production grew 12 percent annually, from less than a half million tonnes in the early 1990s to over 5 million tonnes in the mid-2010s. Africa accounted for 20 percent of the growth. Yet most... [Read more]

Press Release: 7 June 2017 - US Congressional Legislative Briefing highlights - Blue Growth: Future of Fish as a Significant Food Source

Thu, 8 Jun 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Sponsored by the Mississippi State University (MSU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Liaison Office for North America, a Congressional Legislative Briefing was held on 5 June 2017, in Washington, D.C. Dr. Greg Bohach, MSU's Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry & Veterinary Medicine welcomed the attendees representing both the House of Representatives & the Senate & other stakeholders, e.g. the American Fisheries Society, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the U.S. Agency for International Development, George Washington University's Food Institute, & the Mississippi Farm Bureau. He recognized the important partnership between the FAO and MSU.Fisheries & aquaculture remain important sources of food, nutrition, income, and livelihoods for millions of people around the world. In 2014, production from aquaculture is about 73.8 million tonnes, worth $160.2 billion; fish and fishery products have an export value of $148 billion. About 56.6 million people are engaged in the primary sector of capture fisheries & aquaculture. Tremendous potential for oceans & inland waters exists now, and even more so in the future, to contribute significantly to food security & adequate nutrition for a global population that is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Aquaculture is forecasted to overtake capture fisheries in 2021 and may reach 52% of total fish production in 2025. Four eminent speakers from the University of Florida, the University of Rhode Island, MSU, and the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, each gave a 10-min presentation. Dr. James Anderson, Professor & Director, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida spoke on the future of fish as a food source. Dr. Austin Humphries, Assistant Professor, Department of Fisheries, University of Rhode Island, discussed the challenges faced in sustaining capture fisheries, many of which are currently at capacity or being overfished. Dr. Mark Lawrence, Professor & Director, Global Center for Aquatic Food Security at MSU highlighted the challenges limiting aquaculture: feed, seeds, disease outbreaks, & antimicrobial resistance. Dr. Melba Reantaso, FAO's Aquaculture Officer, discussed the way forward for aquaculture & fisheries to meet their potential to address world food security under the Blue Growth Initiative (BGI). The USA has an important role to support BGI. Up to 90 percent of seafood consumed in the USA is imported, and about half of this is wild-caught, half is from aquaculture. This results in a large & growing annual seafood trade deficit of about $15 billion. The top five imports include shrimp, salmon, tuna, tilapia, & catfish, accounting for 76% of consumption. All except for tuna, are farmed. Aquaculture production in the USA has not kept pace with production increases in other parts of the world & now ranks 18th in total aquaculture production.The USA can be a key player to support Blue Growth, & it can be competitive in this field because of several factors: availability of fish feed ingredients and manufacturing, excellent facilities & high competence in the fields of aquatic animal health, genetics, advanced aquaculture technologies, fisheries management, research, & development.In closing, Dr Kent Hoblet, Dean of MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine said "We are pleased to partner with FAO in the Blue Growth Initiative. We look forward to working with our colleagues from other universities to[...]

FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 56 is out

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:00:00 +0100

The Aquaculture Branch of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department has published the FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 56. FAN is issued two times a year. It presents articles and views from the FAO aquaculture programme and highlights various aspects of aquaculture as seen from the perspective of both headquarters and the regional and subregional offices in the field.

This issue of FAN contains an invited editorial on Feeding Global Aquaculture Growth, and four main sections on:

  1. Global aquaculture updates;
  2. Aquaculture updates by region ;
  3. Four thematic articles on:
    1. Overview of Ornamental Species Aquaculture;
    2. Improving the Technical and Economic Performance of Tilapia Farming under Climate Variation from a Bio-Economic Modelling Perspective;
    3. A Case for Fish to Lead Greater Food Security and Nutrition Outcomes;
    4. The Potential of World Aquaculture Performance Indicators as a Research and Educational Tool.
  4. Miscellaneous section contains three articles with the following titles:
    1. FAO Assists a Group of French Small-Scale Fishermen During a Visit to Orbetello Lagoon, Italy;
    2. The Real Secret of the Templars: Farmed Fish as the Basis for a Long Life;
    3. Arrivederci Jiansan Jia ('JJ').

Information: V. Crespi (image)

Blue Growth Charter in Cabo Verde

Fri, 5 May 2017 12:00:00 +0100

FAO identified the African island nation of Cabo Verde to become a pilot country for implementing the Blue Growth Initiative. The government adopted the Blue Growth Charter, which serves as a framework for all policies and investments related to the development of a sustainable ocean economy.

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Four-day workshop on shrimp infectious myonecrosis virus

Fri, 5 May 2017 12:00:00 +0100


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with the Brazil's Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services/MDIC, The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply/MAPA and the Brazilian Association of Shrimp Growers/ABCC, is tackling Infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNv), one of the most serious pathogens, affecting cultured whiteleg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei). Penaeus vannamei is a very important culture commodity with a global production worth almost USD 19 billion. This event, 4-day workshop, which started yesterday, is being carried out through an FAO Project "FAO – TCP/INT/3501: Strengthening biosecurity governance and capacities" for dealing with the serious shrimp infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNv) disease. The workshop is sharing information on Emergency Preparedness and Response Systems in the 6 participating countries and is developing a Disease Strategy Plan for IMNv. During the next three days, the workshop will prepare an active surveillance design for IMNv and a framework for developing a National Strategy on Aquatic Animal Health. The workshop will also deliberate on appropriate export/import sanitary measures/actions for live shrimp and shrimp products from countries that are free and countries that are not free from IMNv, as well as practical application of biosecurity zoning and maintenance of disease free status. Some 25 delegates representing China (Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences), Ecuador (National Fisheries Institute), Indonesia (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries), Mexico (National Health Service, Food Safety and Quality), Thailand (Department of Fisheries), FAO experts from Canada, Chile and the USA and local Brazilians representing the government, producer and academic sectors are participating in this important event. A half-day Technical Seminar for Aquaculture Stakeholders will also be held tomorrow to share country and expert experiences on important shrimp diseases and other emerging issues affecting aquaculture.

Dr Rodrigo Roubach, in welcoming the delegates, pointed out the work that been developed by the Brazilian shrimp industry alongside with the government towards better governance and improving the management and health status of the shrimp sector, especially in facing the challenges posed by shrimp diseases. In this regard, the present FAO TCP project is extremely important for better understanding of these challenges and closer cooperation amongst the main world shrimp producers in order provide more efficient and systematic response to future disease outbreaks through improved sector governance.

FAO launches the first working version of the Global Record online Information System

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

(image) Last week, the first working version of the Information System of the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record) was released to member countries in order to collect their data.

The information system is an online comprehensive and updated repository of vessels involved in fishing operations which will serve as a single-access point of information to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing that is estimated at an annual cost of US$ 10 - 23 billion.

An event held following an informal meeting of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) displayed this new tool designed to enable State authorities and regional fisheries management organizations , to work together in order to make it more difficult for vessels to operate outside the law.

This tool is expected to serve inspectors, port State administrations, flag State administrations, non-governmental organizations and the general public.

Certified data are compiled, disseminated and provided by official State authorities responsible for this information. The first working version of the Global Record Information System is currently open exclusively to authorized data providers to insert official data pertaining to, amongst others, their country's fishing fleet including Vessel details; Flag, Vessel and Owner history records; Authorization Details; as well as other relevant information.

Once content is inserted by the authorities responsible for it, the tool will be made accessible to the general public.

The foundations of the Global Record Programme were laid in 2005 when the Rome Declaration on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing was adopted by the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries. The tool ties in to a framework of several legal instruments available including the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

The Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels has been developed thanks to the financial support of the European Commission, the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation, the Spanish Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

Aquaculture Operations in Floating HDPE Cages: A Field Handbook

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

The purpose of this manual is to provide a general overview of farming and management techniques needed to operate high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floating fish-culture cages, including the types of materials used, their technical specifications and operability.

Read more (now also available in Arabic)

FAO Press release: Tracking fish “from sea to plate” to keep illegal catches out of global supply chains

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

12 April 2017, Rome - An FAO-led push to establish internationally agreed standards that can guide the development of catch documentation schemes aimed at keeping illegally caught fish off store-shelves and consumers' plates has taken an important step forward.


Reducing health risks from antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Click for enlarged image The development of resistant strains of disease-causing microorganisms is an important health issue of global concern. When microbes such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses become resistant to antimicrobial substances, the diseases they may cause become more difficult or impossible to treat. Resistance is developed by the indiscriminate use of antimicrobials and places human health at risk. The discovery of antibiotics revolutionized medicine, creating a belief that a 'magic bullet' had finally been found to control bacterial diseases. Antibiotics, a class of antimicrobial agents, kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, but they have no significant effect on other types of microorganisms such as viruses. "Bacteria, the oldest life form on this planet have survived 4 billion years due to their remarkable ability to adapt to changes in their environment... any 'resistance' gene present in any member of any species in the microbiome has the potential to transfer to any other species" says Dr Peter Smith of Ireland. National delegates representing China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam; fish health experts from India, Ireland, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Viet Nam and the United States; and representatives of the Government of India, Nitte University, FAO, NACA and the OIE are participating at an international workshop to address antimicrobial use (AMU) and AMR in aquaculture, convened by FAO and Nitte University, in Mangalore, India, 10-12 April. Dr J.K. Jena, Deputy Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, highlighted the importance of aquaculture and the need to address issues related to diseases and the irresponsible use of veterinary drugs. "Strengthening laboratory networks and increasing AMU/AMR awareness as well as research on safety, efficacy and withdrawal period, resistance mode and process of transfer of resistance for different antimicrobials are needed", he said. In his Presidential Address, the Vice-Chancellor of Nitte University, Professor Ramananda Shetty, urged interdisciplinary studies to be undertaken as all sectors have a responsibility towards this burning problem. He emphasized the need for regulation of antibiotic sales, responsible implementation of treatment regimens by the doctors and diligent attention to medical advice by the patients. The complexity of the issue calls for a "One Health" platform involving both human medicine and the agriculture sector in an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to tackle what is very much a common problem. This approach combined with concerted actions at the national level that span policy and regulatory spheres, preventive actions and engagement with producers and other food value chain stakeholders are needed to prevent and reduce AMR. Detailed guidance was provided on developing the aquaculture component of the National Action Plans (NAP) on AMR covering the four focus areas of FAO's Action Plan on AMR: awareness, governance (NAP), evidence (usage and surveillance) and practice (prudent use). National delegates will further develop the action plans, disseminate the scientific information delivered during the workshop and create awareness of AMR issues among national stakeholders.[...]

New publication online: Handbook for fisheries socio-economic sample survey - principles and practice

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100

(image) Socio-economic data are a key component of the scientific advice required for the participatory management of fisheries, yet in many countries these data are limited, usually because of a lack of technical capacity for their collection. The aim of this handbook is to act as a practical guide for addressing the limited availability of socio-economic data as well as a general lack of capacity for socio-economic data collection. Specifically, it addresses survey design, data processing, and the analysis and dissemination of this data. The handbook has been written for those planning surveys and coordinating and supervising all the phases of the survey data collection process, from the sampling design to the final estimates, including the organization of the fieldwork.

The handbook consists of three sections. In the first it introduces the basic theory and background required for understanding the socio-economic survey methodologies. The second section moves from sampling design; fleet segmentation; questionnaire design; and training data collectors, to data quality checks and treatment for making estimations. The final section covers the steps required to move from data collection into the calculation of statistics. Indicators, and the methodology used for their calculation, are presented and this is followed by an in-depth and practical example of how the data can be presented and utilized for policy-level decisions.


Citation: Pinello, D., Gee, J. & Dimech, M. 2017. Handbook for fisheries socio-economic sample survey – principles and practice. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 613. Rome, FAO.

Protecting Pristine Paradise Palau: Technical deliberations tackle regulations on aquatic biosecurity and biofouling management

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Minister Umiich Sengebau (1st row, 4th from left) opened the national consultation on Aquatic Biosecurity and Biofouling Management Some thirty participants representing the government (Bureau of Justice: Office of the Attorney General and Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection) Bureau of Agriculture (BOA including the Division of Biosecurity), Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Environmental Quality Protection Board, Ngatpang State; the private sector (BIOTA, Inc., Coral Reef Research Foundation, Palau Aquaculture Cooperative Association, Palau Conservation Society, Environment, Inc.); and the academe (Palau Community College) met on 28 March during a national consultation held at the Palasia Hotel. The participants deliberated on the draft regulations on aquatic biosecurity and biofouling management, actions that are intended to protect Palau's young and growing aquaculture sector, as well as its exquisite coral reefs and lagoons. Aquaculture is an important source of biological invasions, either because the organisms being raised are aquatic invasive species or because of the presence of hitchhikers in imported shipments. Aquaculture organisms can also carry diseases which can impact the aquaculture industry and may spread to native species. In order to reduce pressures on wild marine fish and other marine organisms of economic importance, the national government has decided to increase aquaculture efforts in both marine and freshwater. While efforts have focused on breeding native fish and shellfish such as groupers, clams and mangrove crabs, there is also pressure to import exotic species, such as tilapia and whiteleg shrimp. Shipping is also a major concern, as it is has caused the global spread of many marine organisms. All groups of marine organisms may be transported through ballast water, while encrusting organisms (e.g. macro-algae, bivalve mollusks, barnacles, bryozoans, sponges and tunicates), can be carried on ships' hulls. Both may result in the introduction and spread of hard-to-eradicate species that prey on or outcompete native species and foul ports, coasts and aquaculture facilities. These invasive species are a serious threat to the pristine marine waters of Palau. In particular, recreational yachts pose a very high risk for hull-fouling organisms, as they are slow moving and may lack the incentives to keep their hulls immaculate. With the support of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through TCP/PLW/3601/C1: Strengthening Biosecurity Capacity of Palau, the BOA and other partners in the marine and aquaculture sectors have been working with a team of experts on aquatic animal health, hull fouling, and database development to support the recently approved Biosecurity Act of 2014 that will protect Palau's aquaculture producers from diseases and other threats to their farms. In opening the national consultation, the Honorable Umiich Sengebau, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, thanked FAO and the participants for supporting this important effort by the BOA to protect Palau's aquaculture industry and our pristine marine environment. "These protections should be adopted and implemented as quickly as possible, and I ask that all here today work together toward this end."The[...]

New publication online: Aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management under the ecosystem approach to aquaculture

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100

(image) The ecosystem approach to aquaculture provides the conceptual guideline for spatial planning and management. This publication describes the major steps related to these activities. The rationale for and objectives of each step, the ways (methodologies) to implement it, and the means (tools) that are available to enable a methodology are described in a stepwise fashion. Recommendations to practitioners and policy-makers are provided. A separate policy brief accompanies this paper. The benefits from spatial planning and management are numerous and include higher productivity and returns for investors, and more effective mitigation of environmental, economic and social risks, the details of which are provided in this paper.

This publication is organized in two parts. Part one is the "Guidance"; it is the main body of the document and describes the processes and steps for spatial planning, including aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management. Part two of the publication includes six annexes that present key topics, including: (i) binding and non-legally binding international instruments, which set the context for sustainable national aquaculture; (ii) biosecurity zoning; (iii) aquaculture certification and zonal management; (iv) an overview of key tools and models that can be used to facilitate and inform the spatial planning process; (v) case studies from ten countries – Brazil, Chile, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Oman, the Philippines, Turkey, Uganda and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and (vi) a workshop report. The country case studies illustrate key aspects of the implementation of spatial planning and management at the national level, but mostly within local contexts. Take-home messages include the ways in which institutional, legal and policy issues are addressed to implement the process, or parts of the process.

FAO Expert Workshop to Develop a Compliance Manual Series to Support Small-Scale Aquaculture Certification, 3-5 March 2017, Manila, Philippines

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Aquaculture is an industry still dominated by small-scale farmers. Although nearly 70 percent of the global aquaculture production originates from small-scale farming sector, almost no small-scale farmers or farming systems are currently certified. Certification of small-scale aquaculture has been an issue, mainly due to the unbearable cost of certification as well as difficulties in complying to the required certification standards. Many small-scale farmers find themselves difficult to comply with the standards set by the certifiers, mainly due to lack of finance, technical knowledge and organizational capacity. In some cases, it is also evident that necessary state support, including appropriate national policy and legal environment, does not exist in some countries. Therefore, improving the knowledge of small-scale aquafarmers on how to comply with certification standards, as well as to identify national policy and regulatory gaps supporting small-scale aquaculture certification, is becoming necessary. The FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification, developed after a transparent and exhaustive consultative process, was approved by FAO Committee on Fisheries in 2011. The guidelines provide guidance for the development, organization and implementation of credible aquaculture schemes. A range of issues considered in the guidelines include the following: (1) animal health and welfare; (2) food safety; (3) environmental integrity; and (4) socio-economic aspects. Since its approval and adoption by FAO members, established third-party aquaculture certification schemes claimed that their schemes are in compliance with FAO guidelines. Several national aquaculture certification schemes which came to effect recently also endorsed FAO guidelines as the basis for developing theirs schemes. The FAO member states subsequently requested FAO to develop evaluation framework for assessing conformity of certification schemes with the FAO Guideline. Based on the those efforts, multi-stakeholder initiative "Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)" has developed the Global Benchmarking Tool to measure the performance of certification schemes in order to facilitate their implementation and the use. Assistance to small-scale aquaculture and to developing countries is one of the fundamental principles of these technical guidelines on aquaculture certification. Thus special and preferential assistance to the small-scale farming sector and to developing countries is given in the implementation of aquaculture certification. In this context, small-scale aquaculture is defined as aquaculture farms with small production volume, and/or relatively small-scale surface area, mainly without permanent labour, and typically lacking technical and financial capacity to support individual certification. A small group of experts on small-scale aquaculture, aquaculture certification and aquatic animal health are currently discussing a format and framework to develop a compliance manual series to advice small-scale aquaculture farmers, how to comply with the FAO technical guidelines on aquaculture certification. Mr Jose Luis Fernandez, FAO Representative to the Philippines, [...]

"Veterinary controls in international fish trade": Volume 121 of Globefish Research Programme

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Fishery products are still among the most extensively traded commodities in the world. For this reason, and also owing to their perishable nature, most countries have strict regulations and border inspection procedures. Freshness, hygiene and packaging, as well as accompanying documentation, are rigorously checked. The substantial variation among the standards and regimes of importing countries constitutes one of the most serious difficulties for exporters in the international market of fish and fishery products.

New R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen vessel has been delivered

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0100


On 10 January 2017, the new R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen arrived in Bergen for the first time, after the delivery of the Spanish shipyard Astilleros Gondan.

The vessel, which is owned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) was built as part of the tripartite agreement between FAO, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to help developing countries improve their fisheries management.
Now the vessel, equipped with the most up to date technology, is undergoing testing of equipment and functions before the first survey planned for the beginning of May 2017.

An official naming ceremony will be held in Oslo, Norway, on 24 March 2017.

More information available here.

National Workshop for the Development of a National Aquatic Animal Health and Biosecurity (NAAHB) Strategy, 24-27 January 2017, Suva, Fiji

Fri, 3 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and co-organized with the Ministry of Fisheries (MoF), the Biosecurity Agency of Fiji (BAF), the University of South Pacific (USP) and facilitated by FAO, the workshop participated by 39 representing the government, the academe (USP), producers (Pacific Ocean Culture Pte Ltd., The Crab Company of Fiji Ltd., Valili Pearls Co., Ltd., Pacific Ocean Culture Pte Ltd., Aquarium Fish (Fiji) Ltd. and Vet Essentials Fiji Ltd.) and regional and international organizations (FAO, JICA, Secretariat of the Pacific Community), prepared a draft NAAHB Strategy. A broad yet comprehensive strategy for building and enhancing capacity for the management of national aquatic biosecurity and aquatic animal health, the strategy will focus on five priority commodities, namely: prawn & shrimp, seaweeds, pearls, Nile tilapia, giant clam & sandfish. The strategy contains the national action plans at the short-, medium- and long-term using phased implementation based on national needs and priorities. The strategy framework consists of Purpose and Vision Statements and Guiding Principles. The strategy includes 10 Programme Component/Elements, each one contains a description of the scope, objectives, current status and projects/activities that will be implemented at the short-, medium- and long-term based on national needs and priorities. Responsible entities for each project/activity are also included as well as an Implementation Plan. The 10 Programme Components/Elements are: (1) Policy, Legislation and Enforcement, (2) Risk Analysis, (3) Pathogen List, (4) Border Inspection and Quarantine, (5) Surveillance, Monitoring and Reporting, (6) Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning, (7) Institutional Structure (Including Infrastructure), (8) Research and Development, (9) Regional and International Cooperation, and (10) Capacity Building. Development of a NAAHB Strategy involves an extensive & iterative process led by the Competent Authority and extensive consultation with key stakeholders from other government agencies, academia and the private sector. It is a proactive measure without which a country can only react in a piecemeal fashion to new developments in international trade and the global situation with regard to serious transboundary aquatic animal diseases (TAADs), and its aquaculture and fisheries sectors will remain highly vulnerable to new and emerging diseases that may severely affect capture fisheries and aquaculture production, leading to major social and economic impacts. Fiji can take an important lead role in setting an example for the Pacific region with a vision that Fiji's aquatic wildlife and aquaculture species thrive in a healthy environment, valued by its society that embraces and sustainably benefits from the diversity of its aquatic resources. Fiji's MoF has taken the initial necessary steps for developing a NAAHB Strategy for the country. The development of this strategy is a very timely initiative and is in line and in parallel to a number of legal and policy instruments (e.g. Aquaculture Bill 2016 scheduled for 3rd hearing at the Parlia[...]

Opportunities in FI: World Aquaculture Performance Indicators (WAPI) Internship

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Download announcement and terms of reference here.

New publication online: Marine spatial planning for enhanced fisheries and aquaculture sustainability - its application in the Near East

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Meaden, G.J., Aguilar-Manjarrez, J., Corner, R.A., O'Hagan, A.M. & Cardia, F. 2016. Marine spatial planning for enhanced fisheries and aquaculture sustainability - its application in the Near East. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 604. Rome, FAO. This document provides a clear and comprehensive account for the application of marine spatial planning (MSP) within the Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI) region. It builds on regional technical workshops, held under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), aimed principally at improving the prospects for fisheries and aquaculture in the Near East. Marine spatial planning provides a step-by-step process that allows for the cooperative integration of the major marine uses and users within a defined marine area. These ordered procedures  allow all stakeholders to work towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of identified marine activities. The principles of the ecosystem approach to both fisheries and aquaculture can readily be incorporated into the process. The output of MSP is the development of a plan that addresses any potentially conflicting uses of the sea, thus enabling the strategic, forward-looking planning for the regulation, zoning, management, protection and sustainability of the marine environment. MSP can best function if it includes continuing reinforcement and adjustments of learned experiences over a long time period. The document includes three important annexes. The first includes the main recommendations concerning the adoption of marine spatial planning taken from the RECOFI (FAO) Cairo workshop in 2012. The second exemplifies how MSP might best be adopted in Saudi Arabia, with emphasis being placed on the types of marine activities that must be considered and the range of data and their sources that should be procured. The third annex provides a comprehensive listing of additional information about MSP, including worldwide examples where MSP has been applied under varied local conditions at highly variable geographic scales. Download document here [...]

Experts gather in Frascati for aquatic microbiology

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0100

First row: L-R seated: Dr Iddya Karunasagar (India, FAO retiree), Dr Rohana Subasinghe (Sri Lanka, FAO retiree), Dr Olga Haenen (Netherlands, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research), Dr Indrani Karunasagar (India, Nitte University), Dr Larry Hanson (USA, Mississippi State University), Ms Elena Irde (FAO-Rome), Dr Mark Lawrence (USA, Mississippi State University), Dr Andrea Dallocco (Italy). Second row: L-R standing: Dr Melba Reantaso (FAO-Rome), Dr Snježana Zrncic' (Croatia, Croatian Veterinary Institute) A group of aquatic microbiology and aquatic animal health experts from Croatia, India, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, and the United States of America gathered for a 3-day book write-shop organized by the FAO Aquaculture Branch, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in Frascati, Italy from 12-14 December 2016. This publication "Responsible Management of Bacterial Diseases in Aquaculture" contains 10 bacterial disease groups belonging to six gram-negative bacteria (e.g. vibriosis, aeromonasiasis, edwardsiellosis, pseudomonasiasis, flavobacteriosis, infection with intracellular bacteria) and four gram-positive bacteria (e.g. mycobacteriosis, streptococcosis, renibacteriosis and infection with anaerobic bacteria) consisting of some 40 pathogens considered as major bacterial diseases (based on a set criteria) of cultured finfish, crustaceans and molluscs in fresh and marine waters, some of which have zoonotic potential. This publication covering four chapters (1. Introduction; 2. Bacterial diseases: general considerations; 3. Bacterial diseases: pathogen-specific considerations; and 4. Issues and challenges in managing bacterial diseases in aquaculture) and intended to a wide range of users, is being developed in recognition of the need to responsibly manage bacterial diseases in aquaculture, to reduce the use of antibiotics and thus avoid resistance, as well to find alternatives to antibiotics. It is expected that the book will be released in 2017. Further information can be obtained by writing to[...]

Press release: FAO/SMCP/MPEM workshop on eco-labelling of octopus in Mauritania

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0100

In view of the economic and social importance of the octopus fishery in Mauritania and its leading role in seafood exports from Mauritania, the SMCP (Seafood marketing and trade promotion of Mauritania) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have been exploring since 2015 ways and means to promote sustainable octopus fisheries through eco-labelling. The eco-labelling approach has been framed within the 2015-2019 National strategy for Fisheries Management of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Economy (MPEM), which was adopted by the Council of Ministers in February 2015. An FAO/SMCP/MPEM workshop on eco-labelling of octopus in Mauritania was held in Nouadhibou during the period 25 to 26 October 2016. It was attended by national and international experts representing fisheries research, government, academia and industry. Using the FAO guidelines for eco-labelling of fish and fishery products from marine fisheries and the related methodology of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for fisheries improvement, the workshop reviewed research data, studies and experiences of octopus harvesting and management in Mauritania to identify achievements for consolidations, as well as gaps and deficiencies to address in the 3 main areas of fisheries management: the stock, the eco-system and the management system. The workshop has: Confirmed the interest and usefulness of eco-labelling as a way to promote sustainable management and harvesting of octopus in Mauritania Taken stock of the progress achieved since the  pre-evaluation that was carried out in 2010 using the MSC methodology Designed the major elements of an action plan to address gaps and insufficiencies and assign responsibilities for its implementation The workshop outcome will be used to develop shortly a roadmap for introducing eco-labelling of octopus in Mauritania and to mobilize the necessary resources to that effect. In this respect, the SMCP, that is mandated to promote the quality and label of the seafood exported from Mauritania and which is the major counterpart of seafood importers, will act as a focal point for this initiative. It will work to federate the efforts of the stakeholders and concerned institutions in Mauritania. FAO will make available its technical assistance and expertise for its implementation. A working group of experts from FAO and Mauritania will prepare by January 2017 a detailed action plan for eco-labelling octopus in Mauritania with defined activities, responsibilities, timetable, investment, monitoring and evaluation. [...]

November 2016 issue of FAO Aquaculture eBulletin

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The November 2016 edition of the FAO Aquaculture eBulletin covers most recent news, publications, technical workshops and projects for the period April to November 2016.

Full article

Information: V. Crespi (image)

FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 55 is out

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The Aquaculture Branch of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department has published the FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 55. FAN is issued two times a year. It presents articles and views from the FAO aquaculture programme and highlights various aspects of aquaculture as seen from the perspective of both headquarters and the regional and subregional offices in the field.

Information: V. Crespi (image)

CACfish demonstrates its value for the region

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CACFish), a body established in 2011 under FAO, convened in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 10-12 October for its 5th session and reviewed capacity building activities undertaken in the region to improve the sector.

Full story

UN agencies and regional partners convened on sustainable fisheries and a healthier marine environment

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. September 13, 2016 - Key partners of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project ("the UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project") assembled from 6 to 9 September in Miami to discuss and plan coordinated action towards the sustainable management and use of living marine resources in the region.

Press release

Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries - Youtube video

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Capture fisheries support the livelihoods of over 120 million people. Small-scale fisheries produce two-thirds of all catches destined for direct human consumption and provide 90% of the employment in the sector.

Nicole Franz, Fisheries Planning Analyst and Yvette Diei Ouadi, Fishery Industry Officer of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department explain the importance of supporting small-scale fishers, fish workers and their communities to ensure food security for all. They describe the FAO policy work, including key policy messages. This video forms part of a series of policy and governance videos being produced by FAO in 2016.


UNCTAD-FAO joint statement on regulating fisheries subsidies

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) met in Nairobi, Kenya 17-20 July 2016. During this Conference, FAO and UNCTAD issued a joint statement from Nairobi on the need to address harmful fisheries subsidies under SDG 14.6 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  This joint statement highlights that a positive negotiation outcome in the WTO subsidies negotiations will improve international efforts to address many of the negative impacts of fisheries subsidies. Furthermore, FAO and UNCTAD will reinforce their readiness to provide capacity building and technical assistance to contribute to member countries' efforts to achieve targets under SDG 14, specifically target 14.6.

Joint statement text

Costa Rica receives award from FAO for combatting illegal fishing

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

FAO awarded Costa Rica for being one of the countries to sign the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Read more (in Spanish)

COFI 32 kicks off on Monday 11 July 2016 with a ceremony to celebrate the entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA)

Fri, 8 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

From 11 to 15 July, FAO headquarters in Rome will welcome the 32nd session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI). On top of a full programme of meetings and a jam-packed schedule of side events, during the week a ceremony will be held to celebrate the entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture - 2016

Thu, 7 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Twenty years on from the introduction of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Conduct, and now with the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement, and the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines, the focus on governance and policy has never been greater. This edition covers recent developments as they relate to fisheries and aquaculture, and reports, inter alia, on the Common Oceans ABNJ Program, FAO's Blue Growth Initiative and efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. It also discusses issues such as valuing inland fisheries, cutting bycatch and promoting decent work. Other topics highlighted include: nutrition; aquatic invasive alien species; responsible inland fisheries; resilience in fisheries and aquaculture; and governance of tenure and user rights.

Publication card

Latest FAO Yearbook of Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics is out

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

(image) The FAO Yearbook of Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics is a compilation of data on capture production, fleet, fishers, aquaculture production, commodities and apparent fish consumption statistics. The complete yearbook package for each of these categories – all the key information and statistical tables – is contained on one CD–ROM. An accompanying booklet includes general notes, concepts and classifications, as well as a pull-out map of FAO major fishing areas. Notes on the major trends and issues, along with summary tables relating to each individual statistical set are also included.



FAO. 2016. FAO yearbook. Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics. 2014/FAO annuaire. Statistiques des pêches et de l'aquaculture. 2014/FAO anuario. Estadísticas de pesca y acuicultura. 2014. Rome/Roma, Italy/Italie/Italia.

Global per capita fish consumption above 20 kilograms for the first time

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

July 2016, ROME - Global per capita fish consumption has risen to above 20 kilograms a year for the first time, thanks to stronger aquaculture supply and firm demand, record hauls for some key species and reduced wastage, according to a new FAO report published today.

Full story

FAO Agreement on Port State Measures binding international law as of today

Mon, 6 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +0100

5 June 2016, Rome - A groundbreaking international accord aimed at stamping out illegal fishing went into effect today and is now legally binding for the 29 countries and a regional organization that have adhered to it.


New Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division (FIA)

Wed, 1 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +0100

May 2016 - Manuel Barange assumed responsibilities as Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division (FIA). His professional record includes several high profile roles in the fisheries academic world: Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Science at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., Chair of the ICES Science Committee, leader of the international IGBP GLOBEC programme, Head of the Surveys and Fish Behaviour Division of the Sea Fisheries Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. In recent years Prof Barange has been very active in leading research on the development of quantitative tools to estimate the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, their resources, and their dependent communities, globally, regionally and nationally. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers and has edited several books. He has become an expert in understanding the two-way relationship between environmental and societal change. Prof Barange holds an Honorary Professorship with the University of Exeter, U.K. and in 2010 was awarded the UNESCO-IOC Roger Revelle Medal for his accomplishments and contributions to ocean science. 

Mr Barange can be reached via e-mail at and

Second World Fish Migration Day

Fri, 15 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

WFMD 2016 is a one day event to create worldwide awareness of the importance of freshwater migratory fish and open rivers for the general public, especially students and their teachers, resource managers and engineers, and commercial and recreational anglers, as well as those individuals who influence public policy that affect rivers.
It is a global initiative with activities organized to reach these audiences. Around the world, coordination and promotion is done through local activities inspired, supported and coordinated by a central office of the World Fish Migration Platform in Washington DC (USA). At the individual event level, organizations undertake the development of an activity to raise awareness and involve local people and media about fish migration and open rivers. Local events include a range of activities: field trips, events at a school or aquaria, the opening of fishways, races, food festivals, etc. At this local level, the logo and central message of the WFMD, Connecting fish, rivers and people, will be used to connect sites around the world. The day will start in New Zealand and will follow the sun around the world, ending in Hawaii. Find more info here .
On line registration

Ground-breaking illegal fishing accord soon to enter into force: FAO Port State Measures Agreement set to become binding law

Mon, 16 May 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is about to become much more difficult thanks to the imminent entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), a ground-breaking international accord championed by FAO.

Full story

Promoting gender in fisheries activities in Somalia

Fri, 13 May 2016 12:00:00 +0100

FAO's fisheries activities in Somalia are working to include women in specialized training, while simultaneously creating sustainable employment that will allow women, with their newly developed skills, to play a key role in Somalia’s strengthened fisheries sector.

Read full story

April 2016 issue of FAO Aquaculture eBulletin is out

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The April 2016 edition of the FAO Aquaculture eBulletin covers most recent news, publications, technical workshops and projects for the period January to April 2016.

Full article

US Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome and FAO host Fishackathon

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome and FAO will partner to host a Fishackathon on Earth Day weekend, 22-24 April, at FAO headquarters in Rome. This is the third annual Fishackathon, but the first time it will be hosted in Rome. Fishackathon is a public-private partnership that aims to capitalize on the expansion of mobile phone and internet use across the developing world to address sustainable fishery challenges.

Full story

Joint efforts to promote small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The future of small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea was the topic of discussion at a regional conference held 7-9 March 2016 in Algiers, Algeria. The Regional Conference entitled "Building a future for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea" was organized by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The press release is available in English and French.

Women's role in fisheries - International Women's Day

Tue, 8 Mar 2016 12:00:00 +0100

8 March marks International Women's Day around the globe. It is a day to celebrate the important role women play in their families, their communities, the workforce and society as a whole. This day is also an ideal time for those of us interested in promoting Blue Growth to reflect on the role of women in fisheries and aquaculture, and we're including below some of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture's recent activities related to women and their role in the sector.

Full story

Regional Fishery Bodies sign Agreement to Improve Coordination for Sustainable Fisheries in the Western Central Atlantic Region

Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

(image) Cartagena, Colombia, 27 January 2016
Three Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs): the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM); the Organization of the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (OSPESCA); and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations - Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (FAO-WECAFC) on Wednesday 27 January signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate, support and strengthen the coordination of actions among the three RFBs to increase the sustainability of fisheries.

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FAO's response to the Nature Communications article

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The article "Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining" by Pauly and Zeller published in Nature Communications argues that catch reconstructions, compiled from a number of separate studies, support a different conclusion about the magnitude and recent trend of marine catches than what is shown by FAO capture production database compiled since 1950.

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FAO is pleased to announce the publication of Issue Brief #15 on Combating IUU fishing in the Caribbean through policy and legislation

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) is one of the biggest threats to marine biodiversity and sustainable fishing. Every year between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish is caught through IUU fishing. This costs the industry between $10 and $23 billion annually and threatens food security in many parts of the world. Estimates indicate that IUU fishing accounts for up to 30% of the total global catch. IUU fishing is also considered a major threat to fisheries resources in the Caribbean region, undermining regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks. IUU fishing also prevents governments of the CARICOM countries from achieving their nationally and regionally agreed-upon fisheries management goals and objectives.

IUU fishing leads to the loss of both short and long-term social and economic opportunities and to negative effects on food security and environmental protection. If IUU fishing is not dealt with, it can lead to the collapse of a fishery or seriously impair efforts to rebuild stocks that have already been depleted. The fight against IUU fishing must be prioritized in order to ensure food security, guarantee income and livelihoods for legitimate fishers, as well as continued export earnings from fisheries.

The issue brief (available here) provides an overview of international and regional policies and agreements that are essential in the fight against IUU fishing in the Caribbean region.

2015 Common Ocean milestones for the Western and Central Pacific

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

December 2015 | Bali. The Common Oceans/ABNJ Tuna Project summarized its 2015 activities in 2015 and highlighted progress with the southern hemisphere sharks and by-catch measures assessments.

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Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) pilot activities onboard tuna vessels in Fiji and Ghana

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Common Oceans/ABNJ Tuna Project started two pilot activities to test the insertion of EMS data in the national processes to verify and enhance compliance with current regulations. The systems are deployed on board longline vessels in Fiji and purse seine vessels in Ghana.

Full story

December 2015 issue of FAO Aquaculture e­Bulletin is out

Wed, 23 Dec 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The December 2015 edition of the FAO Aquaculture e­bulletin covers most recent news, publications, technical workshops and projects for the period October 2015 to December 2015. 

Full article

Saint Kitts and Nevis National plan of action to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing

Wed, 16 Dec 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Saint Kitts and Nevis National plan of action was developed through a participatory process with all key stakeholder with support from FAO's technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) project TCP/STK/3502.

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Video: Climate-Smart Agriculture in Action: Africa, Asia and Latin America

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The UNFCCC's Twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) kicks off today in Paris, France. This Climate Smart video will be shown at the event, and includes a positive example of collaboration with work done on Nicaraguan fishers' adoption of an ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture to better preserve ecosystem services while improving harvest. These policies were aimed at reducing the climate vulnerability of coastal fishing communities.

BlueBRIDGE project, building innovative data services for fisheries, aquaculture, ecosystem management, and food system analysis

Sat, 28 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Rome 27 October 2015. By some standards, the world’s Oceans are the seventh largest economy. However, it is an economy at risk, and sometimes poorly managed fisheries, climate change and pollution, amongst others, damage its carrying capacity. To address these issues, a challenge is to support decision making with facts and evidence built across multiple scientific disciplines. The BlueBRIDGE project uses European Horizon 2020 funds to support fisheries, aquaculture, and ecosystem management with tools such as maps, statistics, and analytical models. BlueBRIDGE - Building Research environments fostering Innovation, Decision making, Governance and Education in fisheries and marine sciences – provides web-based resources with a focus on sustainable growth and development. These resources will facilitate science-based policy formulation and evidence-based decision-making, and include: Online analytical tools and models to support scientific collaboration among working groups and institutions, including stock assessment methods and sustainable management strategies of data poor, small scale fisheries. A global register for stocks and fisheries, disseminating comprehensive information on the location, status and trends of fish stocks and fisheries; Support to aquaculture sites inventories and spatial planning using a combination of satellite data analysis and field collected information; Online analytical tools and models to support scientific collaboration among working groups and institutions include stock assessment methods and sustainable management strategies for data poor and small scale fisheries. "These are just a few of the challenges BlueBRIDGE will address", says Marc Taconet from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the UN FAO and Chair of the BlueBRIDGE External Advisory Board, "The development of smart solutions is important to support decision-makers in the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Aquaculture by providing the knowledge production chain from data collection through aggregation and analysis to the generation of indicators. These solutions will bridge the work of international organizations and communities of scientists from different disciplines including fisheries, biology, economics, statis[...]

EAF-Nansen Project - October 2015, special issue of e-APPROACH

Wed, 11 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

In this special issue of the e-Approach we take a look at the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen demonstration survey across the southern Indian Ocean from June to August 2015 to test some sampling and observational equipment on board the research vessel as well as the preparedness of the EAF-Nansen Project to contribute to the upcoming Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2).

Download PDF file

FAO Blue Growth blog is now online!

Thu, 5 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department blog on Blue Growth is now available online.

Easy off-line access to FAO aquaculture publications

Thu, 29 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

All FAO aquaculture publications produced 1999-2015 are now available on a USB pen drive (credit card style, Version 03). This compilation makes sixteen years of publications readily available to and searchable by all users, especially those with limited access to the internet.  Users can easily search publications (also available as PDF files in other FAO official languages) through the publication list or through a free text-based search engine that performs search on titles, abstracts, authors, keywords and year of publication. Hard copies may be requested by contacting Valerio Crespi at

R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen is ready to go! Join us!

Wed, 21 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The research Vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen is about to start a new exciting survey in the waters off Northwest Africa.

The survey will start from Dakar, Senegal on 21 October for an eight-week voyage off the coast of Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania and Morocco before landing in Las Palmas, Spain. The trip will take place in four legs and will study pelagic resources.

To know more about the survey and receive up-to-date information on the cruise, please join the EAF-Nansen project blog.

Visit the blog

International community agrees on future agenda in the framework of Code and FAO's Blue Growth Initiative - Sub-Committee on Aquaculture concludes in Brazil

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

09 October 2015, Brasilia –“It has been an honour for me personally and for Brazil as a country to hold this major global event with the important mission to harmonize actions towards a more sustainable and responsible world aquaculture” summarized Brazilian Chairperson Rodrigo Roubach. The adoption of the report with major recommendations for global aquaculture development marked the closing of the 8th Session of the FAO’s Committee on Fisheries (COFI) Sub-Committee on Aquaculture which was held in the capital of Brazil from 05 to 09 October 2015, attended by 100 delegates from around 50 countries of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe which represent the vast majority of aquaculture producers worldwide. “The Sub-Committee unanimously agreed on priorities for its future agenda, in line with FAO’s Strategic Objectives and the FAO Blue Growth Initiative. Fittingly, this is happening at a time when we celebrate 20 years of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries which provides a common framework” stated Matthias Halwart, Secretary of the Sub-Committee. The meeting debated a range of important aspects pertinent to the development of the aquaculture sector. The Sub-Committee supported the efforts of FAO in developing the Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification and the Evaluation Framework to assess the conformity of aquaculture certification schemes with the guidelines. On FAO’s Blue Growth Initiative, it highlighted inter alia the positive effects from aquaculture on the environment such as through shellfish and seaweed farming and requested to increase the number of participating countries in the piloting phase. The Sub-Committee emphasized resource use efficiency in aquaculture for food and nutrition security as a key focus area, recognizing that research and education needs may vary from region to region. It suggested that issues on decent employment could be dealt with by the FAO aquaculture certification guidelines. Strong support was expressed to improve aquaculture data, information and statistics compiled by FAO, including the [...]

The 8th Session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture Kicks-off in Brasilia, Brazil

Thu, 8 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

05 October 2015, Brasilia — “The Sub-Committee on aquaculture is a unique global forum where aquaculture related matters are debated and strategic plans developed at the highest level by Member countries’ aquaculture authorities from all over the world”, recalled Mr. Jiansan Jia, Deputy Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Management and Conservation Division, when delivering, on behalf of the Department and of the FAO Director-General, Dr. Graziano da Silva, his opening remarks at the 8th Session of the FAO COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, an event that drew together close to 100 delegates from around 50 countries of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, for five days from 05 to 09 October 2015. The Government of Brazil is proud of hosting the event. “It is a great honor for Brazil to host and serve as platform for the most relevant discussions and deliberations of the sector”, stated His Excellency Mr. Helder Barbalho, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture who officially opened the Session on behalf of the Government of Brazil. The role of aquaculture in feeding humanity and ensuring its well-being is unquestionable and still growing. Sharing some of the recent highlights of the sector, Mr. Jia indicated that world aquaculture production has continued to grow, reaching 97 million tonnes with an estimated value of USD157 billion in 2013, producing more than 43 percent of the fish we consume today and generating millions of jobs worldwide, thereby contributing to lifting millions out of poverty while helping them put nutritious food on their tables. At a time where FAO and various partners celebrate the 20th birthday of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries this week in Vigo, Spain, FAO believes that ensuring food security for our growing world population is more important than ever before. The Code provides a solid basis for helping Member countries achieve this goal, pursued Mr. Jia. The meeting agenda is rich and expectations are high — In addition to two Side Events on “FAO work with partners towards sustainable [...]

Announcing the publication of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper 589 - Small-scale aquaponic food production

Thu, 8 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Aquaponics is a symbiotic integration of two mature disciplines: aquaculture and hydroponics. This technical paper discusses the three groups of living organisms (bacteria, plants and fish) that make up the aquaponic ecosystem. It presents management strategies and troubleshooting practices, and specifically highlights the advantages and disadvantages of this method of food production. This publication discusses the main theoretical concepts, including: the nitrogen cycle, the role of bacteria, balancing an aquaponic unit. It considers water quality; unit design; plant and fish production; and a comprehensive guide to a small-scale aquaponic unit.

Aquaponics is an integrated approach to Efficient Resource Use. In addition to this manual, Indonesia, with support from FAO and the South-South Cooperation team, will conduct a regional aquaponic technical training workshop in Indonesia at the end of 2015. Separately, FAO will convene an aquaponic training workshop for countries in the Near East and North Africa region, supported by the translation of this document into Arabic. Limited English hard-copies are available upon request, and but the manual can always be downloaded from the following web link: -

FAO at your local fish market: new posters help consumers trace their catch

Fri, 2 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Area 37 is one of 19 Major Fishing Areas displayed on a new set of posters that FAO is making available to retailers around the world who are keen to respond to increasing consumer demand for better information, as well as evolving labeling standards set by governments.

This includes the European Union, which has recently adopted new labeling standards that make it mandatory for all fishmongers to provide information on the fishing method used and the Major Fishing Areas their seafood was caught.

Political will and partnerships essential to stop ocean degradation

Fri, 2 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Oceans are an essential component of the Earth's ecosystem – a source of biodiversity, food, and life – FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said during a high-level event on the importance of healthy oceans for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). As island nations, the economies, livelihoods and existence of SIDS are closely linked to the health and wellbeing of the oceans, the Director-General said - indeed, their development depends on it.

Brief overviews on 2013 capture and aquaculture production statistics trends have been published

Tue, 22 Sep 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The FAO Fisheries Statistics databases on capture and aquaculture production cover the years 1950-2013. Users can consult these data, together with other global and regional fisheries datasets, through FishStatJ stand-alone software and/or the a online query panel. Brief overviews on capture and aquaculture trends are also available.

Training on Fisheries and Aquaculture Emergency Response Guidance held in the Philippines

Thu, 3 Sep 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Participants in this training seminar are all involved in post-Haiyan rehabilitation programmes in the Calamianes Region, where coastal fishing communities were severely devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

Full story

FAO-backed research ship investigates the occurrence of trash in the southern Indian Ocean

Thu, 13 Aug 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The Dr Fridtjof Nansen is plying the waves of the southern Indian Ocean, trawling for trash. Every time the ship's scientific crew threw down special nets, they hauled in pieces of plastics, underscoring the risk of dramatic upheavals in marine ecosystems even in one of the world's least-known and least-visited environments.

An estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently float in the world's oceans, up from none in 1950 and posing a question about their potential impact on a food supply chain that stretches from plankton - which have been filmed eating plastic pellets - up through shellfish, salmon, tuna and eventually humans, not to mention whales.

Momentum gathers for international agreement to combat rogue fishing

Tue, 4 Aug 2015 12:00:00 +0100

A growing number of countries are ratifying an international agreement to combat illegal fishing, fueling interest in how best to implement the instrument. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is estimated to strip between $10 billion and $23 billion from the global economy, and their impacts undermine the way fish stocks are managed to make it a double concern around the world.

To help tackle the problem, FAO brokered the adoption in 2009 by its Member countries of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

The agreement comes into force when 25 countries have deposited their instrument of ratification, known as acceptance of accession; so far, 12 countries have done so, the latest being Iceland in June. Two more states will soon join them.

Developing sustainable fisheries and healthy oceans in Kenya for food and nutrition security

Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The Government of Kenya and FAO have launched the Blue Growth Initiative to benefit select areas in the coastal region of Kenya. The Blue Growth Initiative is a FAO flagship initiative promoting more productive, sustainable and socioeconomically responsible fisheries, and aquaculture sectors.

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FAO emphasizes importance of Shark Conservation & Management during Fisherman’s Week in Barbados and the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

Fri, 10 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Sharks play an important role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems. Aside from contributing to the ecological sustainability of marine life, the shark species also contributes to social and economic sustainability. However, due to their life-history characteristics, many species are vulnerable to the pressures of overfishing and have experienced rapid population decline.

Turkey hosts workshop promoting sustainable aquaculture development

Tue, 7 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Aquaculture zoning, site selection and the design of aquaculture management areas are part of an overall “ecosystem approach” to aquaculture, being promoted through an international experts’ discussion held in Izmir, Turkey this week. Organized by FAO and the World Bank and hosted by Dokuz Eylul University, Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, the workshop runs 5-8 July 2015.

International experts to discuss in Spain on the value chain of fisheries and aquaculture

Thu, 2 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Between 6 and 10 July Galician School of Public Administration (EGAP) of Santiago de Compostela will host the third edition of the International Seminar on Lessons Advanced Economy Fisheries and Aquaculture. This seminar is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Rural Environment Ministry and do Mar of the Xunta de Galicia and is sponsored by the Alfonso Martin Escudero (FUNDAME) Foundation. It has five days in which several international experts will discuss the value chain of fisheries and aquaculture.

Seminar site

Press release

Anchors away for the Nansen voyage across the Indian Ocean

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Join us for an exciting demonstration survey on the R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the International Indian Ocean Expedition. This survey trip runs 28 June - 10 August 2015, and will take place in two voyages. The first journey begins on 26 June 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia, travelling across the southern Indian Ocean until the Nansen docks in Port Louis, Mauritius on 16 July. The second leg of the journey will depart from Mauritius, to carry out research around the waters of Madagascar and the southern plateau of the Mascarene before continuing on to Cape Town, South Africa. Our 16 marine researchers from 12 countries will be blogging about their work from on board.

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Workshop promotes capacity for fish trade and market access

Wed, 17 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO, in cooperation with EUROFISH and the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture, organized a three-day workshop for Central and Eastern European countries interested in international and intraregional trade in fish and fishery products, livelihoods and food security.

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Full story in Russian

Brazilian Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Barbalho and FAO Assistant Director-General Mathiesen meet in Rome

Fri, 12 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Brazilian Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Helder Zahluth Barbalho visited FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, and met with Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The meeting included discussion about the upcoming Eighth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, to be held 5-9 October 2015 in Brasilia, Brazil.

Full story

Flickr photos of signing

Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication

FAO VME (Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems) DataBase updated and enriched!

Tue, 9 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The VME DataBase is currently up-to-date. Information on VMEs can be viewed by year (2006-2015) or by region (or regional body). The VME DataBase is a mapping interface supported by factsheets that are entered through pop-ups. This is a superb source of information on VMEs and shows the tremendous efforts that have been made over the past 10 years to make fisheries more sustainable by safeguarding critical benthic habitats and thus maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Mediterranean and Black Sea States to strengthen their cooperation and take historic measures for the future of fisheries in the region

Thu, 4 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

GFCM/FAO, on the occasion of its thirty-ninth annual session, hosted representatives of 25 countries of the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea, Japan, the European Union as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to strengthen their cooperation and agree upon important measures for the management and conservation of fisheries resources in both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

GFCM press release

FAO staff member awarded Asian Fisheries Society Gold Medal

Tue, 2 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Congratulations to Matthias Halwart, Senior Aquaculture Officer, on having been presented with the Gold Medal Award of the Asian Fisheries Society for his work in non-formal education activities for fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region. Non-formal education and South-South cooperation is extremely important for the development of aquaculture in the region. Full story

FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific - Photo stories

Scaling up aquaculture development through triangular cooperation between Namibia, Spain, Viet Nam and FAO

Mon, 1 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Aquaculture production remains low in sub-Saharan Africa, with per capita consumption of only 9.1 kg/year. But there is great potential to expand the sector on the African continent, particularly through the use of south-south cooperation programmes. One innovative programme currently in place is helping to improve aquaculture production in the Republic of Namibia through triangular cooperation between Namibia, Spain, Viet Nam and FAO.

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SmartFish press release - Rice-fish culture: development lever for family farming in Madagascar

Thu, 21 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The SmartFish programme of the Indian Ocean Commission, through its Food security component implemented by FAO, supports the awareness program on rice-fish farming Fish NGO APDRA.

Press release

FAO press release: Angling for gender equality in the seafood industry. New FAO report traces fisheries' glass ceiling

Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Despite the fact that  women are estimated to make up nearly half of all people in the fisheries sector, their work often goes unrecognized and unpaid. And the problems aren’t limited to developing countries. Women are conspicuously absent in management positions within the seafood industry. Out of the world’s top 100 seafood companies, only one is run by a female CEO.

Press release

Abridged version of SOFIA 2014 now available in Japanese

Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The abridged version of the State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2014 is now available in Japanese. The full publication is already available online in all official UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Russian.

Japanese summary of SOFIA 2014

Nansis version 1.9 is now available

Sun, 17 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Nansis, the Survey Information System for logging, editing and analysis of biological and environmental data from marine fisheries research surveys, has undergone a series of improvements since 2006 when the first version for Window was released. The software and the database which constitute the system are principally used to store and retrieve data for scientific or decision making purposes. Throughout the years, several updates were made to optimize software stability and performances, based on suggestions provided by the user group of fisheries scientists. From 27 to 31 October 2014, an early version 1.9 of Nansis was introduced and tested by a number of participants attending the Training of Trainers course on Nansis held at Casablanca, Morocco. The course, organized by the EAF-Nansen project, was to train scientist in the use of Nansis and in the meantime to test it. During the course, participants highlighted strengths and weaknesses of the software providing suggestions on suitable improvements. Based on feedback received a new series of enhancements was planned and an updated version is now available as public release. Nansis version 1.9 is meant to be a user-friendly tool with enhanced features. Indeed a wizard process easily lead users through a series of well-defined and simplified steps to successfully finalize the installation. The version 1.9 of the software was officially released on 17 May 2015, on the occasion of the Norwegian [...]

An international day to raise awareness on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Thu, 14 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

GFCM/FAO organized two working-group meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, on 20-24 April 2015, during which international experts discussed measures to deter IUU fishing, including the use of vessel monitoring systems (VMS).

GFCM press release

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture welcomes the start of Expo-2015

Thu, 7 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

1 May 2015 opened the Universal Exhibition, Expo-2015, in Milan, kicking off a six-month global event dedicated to "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". The theme for the event is one at the core FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture mandate: how to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food to everyone, while respecting the natural resources of our planet. For this reason, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture is pleased to be collaborating with Expo-2015 and UN Expo-2015 at various events through October. We invite you to follow our upcoming events for May, either through news on our web site, through our live tweeting of events on our Twitter account @FAOfish, or by coming to see us in Venice and Milan. ONU EXPO 2015 MAP (pdf) FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture at Expo-2015 in May: Friday, 8 May FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture will participate at an interesting side event of the Milan Expo entitled AQUAE VENEZIA 2015, this side event to Expo-2015 is taking place in Venice and is dedicated exclusively to the theme of water. On 8 May, FAO Fisheries will participate in Pianeta Aqua - Green Drop. Stop by in the afternoon when Aquaculture officer Alessandro Lovatelli will speak at a round table on "Feeding the World: the Role of Oceans and Water Resources" or follow us on Twitter @FAOfish as we live tweet the event from Venice. Other participants in the roundtable will discuss renewable marine resources, sharks in the Adriat[...]

ASFA has surpassed the 2 million mark!

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO, 8 April 2015 - More than 2 million is at present the number of records in the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), the International Cooperative Information System covering the world's literature on the science, technology, management, and conservation of marine, brackish water, and freshwater resources and environments, including their socio-economic and legal aspects.

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture glossaries have become part of the FAO Term Portal

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO, 8 April 2015 - Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and the Meeting Programming and Documentation Service have made available, through the FAO Term Portal, the specialized and rich glossaries on fisheries and aquaculture which were originally available on different systems. The FAO Fisheries Glossary consists of more than 1500 terms and definitions, grouped by subject areas, with relevant language equivalents. The Glossary for Aquaculture is multidisciplinary and multilingual, containing more than 2600 terms, definitions, related terms, synonyms and images used in the sector.