Friday, July 10, 2015

10/07/2015: Working group recommendations on responsible aquaculture

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council's CEO, Chris Ninnes, chaired the aquaculture working group for the Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture held in Hanoi, Vietnam, last month.

Working groups held during the forum produced recommendations on sustainable land use, equitable opportunity for small-holder farmers, increasing productivity and improving rural livelihoods while reducing environmental impacts.

Aquaculture working group recommendations

Aquaculture production and management:

  • Improve aquaculture policy coherence and consistency; being clear on its objectives, who the beneficiaries are and why they are targeted.
  • Governments should remove unnecessary 'red tape', which can limit aquaculture sector development.
  • Promote smallholder land tenure and use of subsidies to assist sector consolidation.
  • Retrain inefficient and less competitive farmers to explore alternative livelihoods.
  • Promote the production of lower-trophic level species (bivalves, carps, seaweeds).
  • Ensure that aquaculture by-product is fully utilised.

Marine Ingredients:

  • Establish and align complete regional catch reporting systems.
  • Work with other production sectors that utilise marine ingredients to effect improvements in the management of source fisheries.

Labour Issues:

  • Embed the social issues identified by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other labour standards, into existing ASEAN Task Forces on Fisheries Improvement Projects and PPPs.
  • Develop industry/regulatory mechanisms to track labour issues on vessels on the high seas.
  • Ensure licensed labour agencies (who bring cheap national and immigrant labour to the market) operate according to a code of good practice and close down any that are not complying.
  • Consider a Fairtrade-type certification for (feed) fisheries.

Disease Management:

  • Establish and disseminate improved data collection and epidemiological analysis of diseases (e.g. via mobile technology) to establish preventative measures.
  • Zonal and 'landscape' management (for example through zone certification) must be developed and reinforced through market-based mechanisms that promote compliance with better practices, through increasing peer pressure.

The Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture ran from 23 to 24 June and was organised by Global Initiatives, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, WWF and VCCI.

The forum brought together more than 400 global leaders to explore innovative and collaborative approaches to improving agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability across key commodity value chains, including aquaculture.

Read the full Outcome Statement andRecommendations from the six working groups and view the forum photos and videos.

Visit the ASC site HERE.

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