Brussels Development Briefings

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Fish-farming: the new driver of the blue economy?

Brussels Development Briefing

Aquaculture, otherwise known as fish farming, is the controlled cultivation of freshwater and saltwater animals or plants. The aquaculture sector overall is highly diverse and fragmented, ranging from smallholder ponds in Africa providing a few kilos of fish per year to international companies with annual turnover in excess of US$1 billion.

While capture fisheries production remains stable, aquaculture production keeps expanding and is set to remain one of the fastest-growing animal food-producing sectors; in the next decade, total production from both capture and aquaculture will exceed that of beef, pork or poultry.

With capture fisheries becoming increasingly unsustainable due to overfishing, aquaculture is expected to overtake it in supplying the worlds protein requirements in the future (FAO 2012). In the recent past, some developing countries in Asia and the Pacific (Myanmar and Papua New Guinea), sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana) and South America (Ecuador, Peru and Brazil) have made rapid progress to become significant or major aquaculture producers in their regions.

The Briefing on 3rd July 2013 will address issues related to aquaculture development in the context of ACP countries. In particular, it will: (i) raise awareness on the key challenges and opportunities posed to aquaculture development; and (ii) increase exchange of information and expertise on proven successes on fish-farming.

The first panel will provide an overview of the key concepts, existing systems as well as challenges and opportunities in aquaculture, especially for ACP countries. Panelists will address the principle issues involved in the aquaculture sector in terms of food and nutrition security, health management and the sustainability of the sector. Speakers include David Little, Professor of Aquatic Resources and Development, University of Stirling, UK; Randall Brummett, Senior Aquaculture Specialist, The World Bank; and Rohana Subasinghe, Senior Aquaculture Officer, FAO.

The second panel will present tried and tested actions in fish-farming in the various regions along with lessons learned and best practices which could be upscaled or replicated in areas related to regulatory frameworks, national and regional trade regimes and innovation systems. Panelists in this session include Sloans Chimatiro, Senior Fisheries Advisor, NEPAD; Milton Haughton, Executive Director, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism; and Tim Pickering, Inland Aquaculture Specialist, Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

For further details visit the Briefings website. As places to attend the Briefing are limited, we advise early registration ( The Briefing will also be available via live webstream.