Brussels Policy Briefing #32: Fish-farming – the new driver of the blue economy?
Brussels, 26 June 2013/ CTA/ ACP: Aquaculture has emerged as a growing and lucrative sector, supplying 40% of the world’s fish production, with a total value of US$ 87 billion in 2010. A workshop at the ACP House in Brussels next week will focus on the challenges and successes of aquaculture – also known as fish-farming – as well as lessons learned from the field for ACP countries.
While the bulk of fish farming is based in Asia, ACP countries such as Papua New Guinea in the Pacific and Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana in Africa are making rapid progress to being major aquaculture producers in their regions.
Due to overfishing, fish-farming is set to overtake capture fisheries in meeting world protein needs in the future, with average intake of farmed fish per person rising from 1% in 1980 to almost 9% in 2010. Popular foods such as shrimp, salmon, oysters, tilapia and catfish are now mostly farmed for consumption rather than caught in the wild. The sector is highly diverse, ranging from family-run ponds yielding a few kilos of fish per year, to international firms turning over US$ 1 billion annually. Millions of ACP citizens are currently employed in the sector, with expanding numbers.
However, the vast potential of the sector in ACP countries faces various challenges. These include the supply and affordability of feedstuffs as well as the effect on food security; disease outbreaks; and the need to expand the sector, comprised mainly of small-scale farmers, by improving technologies and enhancing policy frameworks.
To raise awareness, more than 150 policymakers and delegates from EU and ACP member states, international organisations and civil society groups will gather at the ACP House in Brussels on 3 July to share information, debate the issue, and network with each other.
Experts from the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the World Bank, universities from the UK and Belgium, as well as regional organisations in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, Secretariat of the Pacific Community) will take part in two panels. The first will be on the key concepts, challenges and opportunities in the sector, followed by a session on the proven successes and lessons learned from the field.
The Brussels Briefings are organised every two months by the ACP-EU Centre for Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), DG DEVCO of the European Commission, the ACP Secretariat and the Concord group.
For more information on the full programme and registration, visit http://brusselsbriefings.net . Input and comments will also be posted before, during and after the meeting.
– ACP Press/ CTA