The demand for fish in Asia and the Pacific region is estimated to increase by 30 percent by 2030 as a result of the anticipated population growth and the improved living standards of the people of the region. In order to meet such an increased demand for fish, aquaculture production will need to increase by 50–60 percent from the present level by 2030 with the capture fish production remaining static.
Intensification of aquaculture is a major factor that has contributed to the outstanding growth (nearly 10 percent annually) of the aquaculture industry in Asia-Pacific in the past three decades.
Such growth has greatly contributed to food security and the nutrition of the people, rural livelihoods and economic growth in the region. The Asia-Pacific region consistently has contributed over 90 percent to the world aquaculture production for decades. In Asia, aquaculture supplies over 60 percent of food fish, comprising over 20 percent of the total protein intake of the Asian population.
The intensification of aquaculture has depended upon new husbandry practices and increased use of inputs and at the same time has raised concerns about the limited availability of such critical resources, disease outbreaks and environment degradation. Unless appropriate corrective measures are implemented, the long-term sustainability of aquaculture growth may not be guaranteed.
The most effective approach to meet the increasing demand for fish is to promote the sustainable intensification of aquaculture (SIA) to achieve blue growth through increasing the productivity and efficiency of aquaculture production while reducing the consumption of resources and negative environmental and social impacts through improved governance, management practices and adoption of innovative technologies.
In order to support sustainable growth of aquaculture for contributing to increased fish supply for food and nutrition, increased livelihood opportunities and overall economic growth in the region, FAO is currently implementing a regional initiative on sustainable intensification of aquaculture for blue growth in Asia-Pacific. Recognizing that various production and management practices have been developed and implemented in the region to achieve sustainable intensification of aquaculture and more generally to develop aquaculture in the region, the documentation and dissemination of successful practices is included as part of the regional initiative.
Sustainable intensification of aquaculture practice as used in this publication is defined as aquaculture production systems or technologies or management practices that contribute to at least one of the followings: (1) improved production and resource use efficiency, namely land, water, feed, and energy; (2) improved environmental benefits; (3) strengthened economic viability and farmers’ resilience; and (4) improved social acceptance and equality and do not compromise the rest.
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