Sustaining fish supplies from capture fisheries will, therefore, not be able to
meet the growing global demand for aquatic food.
At present, the aquaculture sector contributes a little over 40 million tonnes (excluding aquatic plants)
to the world aquatic food production. According to recent FAO predictions, in order to maintain the
current level of per capita consumption at the minimum, global aquaculture production should reach
80 million tonnes by 2050. Aquaculture has great potential to meet this increasing demand for aquatic
food in most regions of the world. However, in order to achieve this, the sector (and aqua-farmers)
will face significant challenges.
A major task ahead for sustainable aquaculture production will be to develop approaches that will increase the contribution of aquaculture to the global food supply. These approaches must be realistic and achievable within the context of current social, economic, environmental and political circumstances. Accurate and timely information on the aquaculture sector is essential in order to evaluate the efficacy of these approaches and how they can be improved.
Under the FAO Fisheries Departments current work programme, the Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service (FIRI) of the Fishery Resources Division, using a wide-ranging consultative process, regularly conducts reviews on the status and trends in aquaculture development (FAO Fisheries Circular No. 886 Review of the State of World Aquaculture and FAO Fisheries Circular No. 942 Review of the State of World Inland Fisheries). The last review (both regional and global) was conducted in 1999/2000 and was published following the Global Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2000 (NACA/FAO, 2001, Aquaculture in the Third Millennium). These reviews are seen as important milestones and the documents produced are recognized as significant reference materials for planning, implementing and managing responsible and sustainable aquaculture development worldwide.
As part of this continuing process and with the current objective of preparing a global aquaculture development status and trends review, FIRI had embarked on a series of activities. These are:
- National Aquaculture Sector Overviews NASOs;
- Prospective Analysis of Future Aquaculture Development PAFADs;
- five regional workshops to discuss the status and trends in aquaculture development in Asia and the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa; and
- seven regional aquaculture development status and trends reviews in Asia and the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East and North Africa, North America, sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe.
The Fisheries Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
regularly conducts reviews of aquaculture status and trends, most recently in 2005. This regional
review for the 17 countries in the Near East and North Africa is a synthesis of the available National
Aquaculture Sector Overviews (NASOs) and Prospective Analyses for Future Aquaculture
Development (PAFADs), with a focus on the period 19942003.
The review process also included regional expert workshops held in Cairo (Egypt) and Muscat (Oman) in 2005, for discussion of the regional aquaculture development, in particular the status, trends and challenges. The information from these workshops is also included in this regional review. In the last decade, the sector has demonstrated remarkable growth from 96 700 tonnes in 1994 to 566 250 tonnes in 2003, and the contribution of aquaculture to total fisheries increased from 4.5 percent to 18.7 percent.
Nearly all countries are expected to increase their aquaculture production, manifest in increased production tonnage and diversity of culture species. Production is dominated by Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Iran, with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen being emerging producers. In many instances, increases in production are driven by a need to increase reliability of the domestic supply.
Production of protein for human consumption is dominant, particularly of finfish such as tilapia, carps and marine finfish species; the Indian white prawn is the only crustacean of significant economic importance. Within food fish production the main trends are increased culture of marine species, intensification, and more integrated agriculture-aquaculture. Within non-food species, the main trend is towards production of ornamentals.
Successfully addressing four key priority issues is essential for the continued growth of aquaculture in the region: (i) farming systems, technologies and species; (ii) marketing and processing; (iii) health and diseases, and (iv) policies, legal frameworks, institutions and investment.
- CHARACTERISTICS AND STRUCTURE OF THE SECTOR
- Overview of status and development
- Regional demographic and economic overview
- Brief history of production and main developmental landmarks
- Land use and diversity of systems
- PRODUCTION, SPECIES AND VALUES
- Regional overview
- Country overview
- Species and species groups: food species
- Non-food aquatic species
- Culture environments
- ECONOMICS AND TRADE
- Contribution of aquaculture to national economies
- Export and import
- Labelling, permits and certification
- Cost of production of aquatic species
- Market prices
- CONTRIBUTION TO FOOD SECURITY, ACCESS TO FOOD AND NUTRITION
- Regional food security
- Relative contribution of fish compared to other sources of protein
- Fish consumption trends: geographic and temporal
- ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCES
- Losses due to infectious diseases and other causes
- Feed resources
- Trash fish, raw fish and fishmeal
- Seed resources
- Fragile environments
- LEGAL, INSTITUTIONAL AND MANAGEMENT ASPECTS
- Legal and institutional framework
- Economic instruments
- Professional associations, training and education infrastructure
- SOCIAL IMPACTS, EMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION
- Contribution of aquaculture to employment
- Profile of those working in the sector
- Aquaculture and poverty reduction
- Scale of operations, ownership and leasing
- Demographic data and aquaculture trends
- TRENDS, ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Trends in aquaculture
- Non-indigenous species recently introduced into aquaculture
- Driving forces
- Priority issues
- COUNTRY OVERVIEWS
- Introduction clustering
- Individual reports
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