Snapshot: Universities in Aquaculture development.

It’s in record that aquaculture is the fastest growing form of animal production. This trend is driven by recent changes in food preference – increased consumption of white meat, diversification of economic activities, increased income and R&D. According to FAO 2018, capture fishery production has been relatively static since the late 1980s so aquaculture’s impressive growth has filled this void.

To ensure that aquaculture economically sound and sustainable, governments and private ventures have channeled huge budgets towards this sector. Some of the key players in aquaculture development are universities which are at the forefront to develop sustainable production systems, do research in fish feeds (nutrition), larval culture, aquaculture economics and genetics.

Just to mention a few of the academic institutions, Auburn university school of fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic sciences research, teaching and extension has trained thousands of aquaculture experts globally. Its International Center for Aquaculture has conducted development activities in more than 100 countries in many regions of the world (sfaas.auburn.edu). Working closely with Auburn University is the Aquafish innovation lab (formerly Aquafish CRSP) of Oregon state university in the college of agricultural sciences. Through USAid funding, this institution has done aquaculture development in 33 countries – Asia, Africa, and Latin America (aquafishcrsp.oregonstate.edu).

Crossing over to Europe, Wageningen university is involved in the whole chain of aquaculture research –breeding, genetics, rearing systems, nutrition… all the way to economic aspects. This university is collaborating with other universities globally. In a more practical perspective, for instance it’s working with business entities such as De Heus (Netherlands based feed supplier with factories in 10 countries) in aquaculture research and development in Vietnam. Note that Vietnam is now ranked 4th in global aquaculture production.

We cannot fail the mention Ghent University which is the home of Aqua Ugent-one of world’s leading research partners for sustainable aquaculture (aqua.ugent.be). It’s in this university that we have the laboratory of aquaculture & artemia reference center (ARC) – renown in culture of fish and shellfish larvae. ARC has footprints in Europe, Asia (especially Vietnam) Latin America and Africa.  Its spin-of company “Artemia Systems NV” (established in 1983) was taken over by INVE Aquaculture NV in 1991. INVE is now a leading aquaculture feed company with branches in many countries in Europe, Asia & the Americas. (aquaculture.ugent.be)

Still in Europe, The institute of aquaculture at the University of Sterling is a world-class aquaculture research, technological innovation and consultancy institution (stir.ac.uk). This institute has links in more than 50 countries and does research in sustainable aquaculture geared towards, aquatic food security…

Therefore it’s clear that universities have channeled substantial about of resources towards aquaculture development globally.  We’d be talking about other universities at a later date.

Vietnam is currently ranked as the fourth-largest producer of seafood from aquaculture

(seafoodsource.com) Vietnam has set an ambitious goal of becoming a leading country in aquaculture – specifically in the productive development of its coastal marine environment.

Currently ranked as the fourth-largest producer of seafood from aquaculture, behind China, Indonesia, and India, Vietnam produced 3.84 million metric tons (MT) of farmed seafood in 2017. That was more than 53 percent of Vietnam’s total seafood production of 7.23 MT, which itself represented an increase of 5.2 percent year-on-year over Vietnam’s total from 2016.

Vietnam’s government and industry stakeholders have recently taken a more serious interest in the development of Vietnam’s aquaculture sector, Tran Dinh Luan, the deputy director of Vietnam’s Fisheries General Department, told a workshop in Hanoi in early July…..

Women in aquaculture:

(thefishsite.com) Dr Flower Msuya, chairperson and facilitator at the Zanzibar Seaweed Cluster Initiative (ZaSCI) works in villages in Zanzibar to study climate change, modify farming methods and add value to seaweed. As the Tanzanian island’s seaweed aquaculture takes off, Dr Msuya is confident that opportunities for women will continue to rise….

A sustainable aquaculture strategy

Accoding to FAO, A sustainable aquaculture strategy needs:

  • a recognition of the fact that farmers earn a fair reward from farming
  • to ensure that benefits and costs are shared equitably
  • to promote wealth and job creation
  • to make sure that enough food is accessible to all
  • to manage the environment for the benefit of future generations
  • to ensure that aquaculture development is orderly, with both authorities and industry well organized

The ultimate aspiration is for aquaculture to develop its full potential so that:

  • communities prosper and people are healthier
  • there are more opportunities for improved livelihoods, with an increased income and better nutrition
  • farmers and women are empowered

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through aquaculture

Our efforts are to give a hand in achieving The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. Aquaculture sector is an important player towards SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-set by the United Nations

Goal 1: No Poverty “End poverty in all its forms everywhere.”

Goal 2: Zero Hunger “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”

Goal 5: Gender Equality “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

Goal 14: Life below Water “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

Goal 15: Life on Land “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”

EU pledges €6bn to help aquaculture and fishing

A total of  €6.14 billion  will be spread over six years and channelled through a new look European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). But  for the first time  UK businesses will be left out  because when it comes into force in 2021 Britain will have left the EU and the follow up  transition period will have come to an end.
Much of the focus will be supporting small scale fishermen and businesses. Coastal communities will receive more and broader support to set up local partnerships and technology transfers in all blue economy sectors, including aquaculture….

(fao.org) 2018 edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture

Europe, Japan and the United States of America together accounted for 47 percent of the world’s total food fish consumption in 1961 but only about 20 percent in 2015. Of the global total of 149 million tonnes in 2015, Asia consumed more than two-thirds (106 million tonnes at 24.0 kg per capita). Oceania and Africa consumed the lowest share. The shift is the result of structural changes in the sector and in particular the growing role of Asian countries in fish production, as well as a significant gap between the economic
growth rates of the world’s more mature fish markets and those of many increasingly important emerging markets around the world, particularly in Asia.

China, South East Asia collaborate in aquaculture

(undercurrentnews.com) Chinese-South East Asian (ASEAN) center for joint research and promotion of marine aquaculture technology invited Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center’s chief Dan Baliao to attend a forum in Fuzhou, China, to discuss collaboration with his organization, Panay News reported.

Priority areas identified during the forum were the development of marine aquaculture industry and establish the China-ASEAN marine aquaculture technology network…..