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FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 58 is out

This issue of FAN contains an invited editorial on Aquaculture and Trade, and four main sections on: (1) Global aquaculture updates with an article from statistician's desk providing some notes on FAO Reported Aquaculture Statistics; one article from the fish health specialist's desk on Progressive Management Pathway to Improve Aquaculture Biosecurity; one article providing information on the ninth session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture and one contribution on a seminar held in FAO Headquarters on Aquaculture Opportunities in Small Island Developing States. (2) Aquaculture updates by region offers information on ongoing projects, activities and events by region particularly: three articles for Asia-Pacific; five articles for Europe; three articles for the Near East and North Africa; four articles for Latin America and the Caribbean; two articles for Sub-Saharan Africa. (3) There are three thematic articles on the following subjects: (i) Border Rejection Trends of Fishery and Aquaculture Products in European Union, United States of America and Japan; (ii) Aquaculture, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and FAO's Common Vision for Sustainable Food and Agriculture; (iii) Fish as a Poor People's Food. (4) Miscellaneous section contains two contributions with the following titles: (i) Necessary Elements for the Development and Management of Genetic Resources in Aquaculture; and (ii) A User-Friendly Tool for Investment Decision Making in Aquaculture. The three last sections focus on new staff profiles in the FAO Aquaculture Branch, new FAO aquaculture publications and Calendar of events.


Information: V. Crespi Valerio Crespi

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New technical manual on improving processing of sea cucumbers by artisanal fishers

This manual was produced to help artisanal fishers to understand how to best handle and process fresh sea cucumbers into quality dried beche-de-mer. Well-processed sea cucumbers fetch high prices but a lack of care in processing will result in low prices for fishers and exported products. The manual provides instructions on best-practice methods of how to handle, cut, cook, smoke, dry, store and sell tropical sea cucumbers. The manual includes a section on responsible fishing as it does not encourage an increase in fishing efforts, but seeks to make the best outcome out of the animals already harvest in harmony with FAO principles espoused in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The original manual was published by the Pacific Community (SPC) and now available in several language including English, French and now Arabic.


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Consensus reached by multistakeholders to support a risk-based, progressive and collaborative pathway/tool to improve aquaculture biosecurity

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FAO, the Mississippi State University (MSU) and the World Bank (WB) convened, a multistakeholder consultation (10-12 April 2018, Washington DC) participated by some 45 delegates from governments, industry and academe, and discussed a progressive management pathway (PMP), a potential tool to put appropriate and sustainable levels of risk management in aquaculture production systems. The sheer numbers of cultured species (more than 500 species), stakeholders and enterprises in the supply/value chain, the diversity of aquaculture containment, systems, environments, size of farming operation and management, the pathogens/disease themselves (single, multi-infection, syndromes, cryptic), the emergence and rapid spread of infections, the multiplicity of spread pathways, all combine to present an enormous challenge for management, at all levels.

Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director General of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, noted the global aquaculture situation in 2016 – that produced 80 million tonnes of food fish valued at US$231.6 billion. Production and revenue losses caused by diseases are detrimental to the sustainability of the industry and its future, especially because the large majority of aquaculture production still comes from rural smallholders with little or weak capacity to respond to disease outbreaks. MSU's Associate Dean Mark Lawrence hoped that this initiative can help address worldwide problems in this area that will help all stakeholders to make positive progress. Vincent Xavier, Lead Fisheries Specialist, WB, said that this consultation aligns very well with WB's mandate to eliminate world poverty and the Blue Economy. He informed of WB's reinforcing investment in the fisheries and aquaculture sector and believed on the importance to learn from collective disease experience.

The PMP for Aquaculture Biosecurity (PMP-AB), an extension of the "Progressive Control Pathways" (PCP), used for controlling major livestock and zoonotic diseases, focuses on building management capacity through a combined bottom-up/top-down approaches with strong stakeholder engagement to promote application of risk management at producer level as part of the national approach. The PMP-AB consists of 4 Stages which lead to a sustainable and resilient national aquaculture system. Moving from one stage to another should meet a set of minimum entry requirements and a detailed plan for implementation in the following stage must be prepared. 'Gateway passes' are usually in the form of Biosecurity Action Plan.

The consensus reached was that the PMP-AB is a useful tool. Refinement and implementation should actively engage governance authorities and industry stakeholders to ensure buy-in, best-fit for country, but a template that provides a degree of consistency between participating countries or regions. Further work includes: further development of the technical aspects of the PMP-AB, wider consensus building, initial application, and resource mobilization. A second follow-up consultation is planned.

In his closing remarks, Vimlendra Sharan, Director of FAOLOW thanked all the participants and partners for this timely endeavour and noted that the uncertainties identified will help further shape the PMP and as with any new tool, guidance documents and resources for advocacy and training will be needed that will facilitate adoption at the national level.

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New FAO publication on women in fisheries: Women's participation and leadership in fisherfolk organizations and collective action in fisheries: a review of evidence on enablers, drivers and barriers

This paper summarizes analyses of a global literature review on women in fisherfolk organizations. The aim of the study was to identify positive examples and lessons learned by pointing to the drivers - as well as the enablers and entities identified in the literature - that have a key role in fostering increased women's participation and leadership in collective action in fisheries.

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New technical paper: Improving the performance of tilapia farming under climate variation: perspective from bioeconomic modelling

A bioeconomic model has been developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) based on experiences in China to show how optimal arrangements of farming operations can improve the technical and economic performance of tilapia pond aquaculture. This paper presents the methodology and results of the model. The results reveal the mechanisms and extent by which aquaculture performance can be improved through optimal farming arrangements.


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