Almost 46 percent of the world’s total fish production in 2018 came from aquaculture, up from 25.7 percent in 2000. The sub-sector is also a growing employer across the world. It employs over one-third of all the global work force in fisheries and aquaculture—35 percent in 2018, up from 17 percent in 1990. It is expected to contribute 48 percent of global fish production by 2030. Investor interest in aquaculture is increasing in many countries, especially in Asia.

Such economic growth must be matched with socio-environmental concerns. New trends in aquaculture activities need to be identified. Occupational safety and health issues need to be addressed, while accounting for women’s work, social development and gender relations. Crucially, any threats to fishing communities from aquaculture operations, including their tenure rights, must be addressed. There is also a need to outline responsible practices and appropriate forms of small-scale aquaculture.

ICSF’s aquaculture programme will look at how the sector can contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030. How to better understand this growth and its implications. How to secure local community rights over water bodies. How to build capacities, use local species that contribute to food security.

In 2010 ICSF and Kolkata’s Inland Fisheries Society of India (IFSI) held a workshop titled ‘Small Indigenous Freshwater Fish Species: Their Role in Poverty Alleviation, Food Security and Conservation of Biodiversity’ to bring together stakeholders. It highlighted the role of small indigenous freshwater fish species (SIFFS)—of unique nutritional benefit if cooked in traditional ways—in rural food and livelihood security, as also in conserving biodiversity. Their socioeconomic and cultural relevance, how to enhance access, especially of women, to better income and nutrition.

ICSF will launch a new programme in 2020 to study India’s aquaculture systems to promote sustainable development and a human rights-based approach.

Current Programmes

Aquaculture is poised for boom all over the world especially in countries like India where it is traditionally practised. ICSF launched a new programme in 2020 to study India’s aquaculture systems to promote sustainable development and a human rights-based approach. India’s Neel Kranti Mission (Mission Blue Revolution) aims to triple fish production, especially from aquaculture.


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From aquaculture production to consumption: Freshness, safety, traceability and authentication, the four pillars of quality By J. Freitas et. al, 2020. Aquaculture, Vol 518.

This article presents a comprehensive overview of the status, relevance, and impact of the quality management systems in the development of marine aquaculture, with the focus on four of the...

A Definition of Aquaculture Intensity Based on Production Functions—The Aquaculture Production Intensity Scale (APIS) By G.V. Oddsson, Water, 2020, 12(3), 765

This paper aims to use three kinds of production function groups; the input, treatment and output functions to describe and define the terms extensive, semi-intensive and intensive explicitly. The resulting...

How fish farming transformed lives of dam displaced people in Jharkhand By Down to Earth, 2019

Around 12,000 families from more than 100 villages lost their source of livelihood due to the construction of the Chandil dam in Jharkhand. Pisciculture or fish farming in cage culture...

Understanding and measuring the contribution of aquaculture and fisheries to gross domestic product (GDP) By Cai, J.N. ; Huang, H. ; Leung, P.S., 2019., FAO, 2019

This paper contributes to improving the understanding and measurement of aquaculture and fisheries’ contribution to GDP by: (i) using input-output models; (ii) alternative methods to estimate the measures under data-poor...

Quantifying and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from global aquaculture By MacLeod, M., Hasan, M.R., Robb, D.H.F. & Mamun-Ur-Rashid, M., FAO 2019

This study quantifies the global GHG emissions from aquaculture (excluding farming of aquatic plants) and explains how cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) could be used to appraise GHG mitigation measures.

Successful Blue Economy Examples With an Emphasis on International Perspectives By Wenhai et al. Front. Mar. Sci., 2019

This paper describes the theory and practical aspects of blue economy and provides an outlook for the future. Aquaculture has been identified as a Blue Growth Priority and this report...

Report of the Tenth Session of the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture. Trondheim, Norway, 23–27 August 2019 By FAO 2019

This document presents the adopted report of the tenth session of the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), held in Trondheim, Norway from 23 to 27...

Greed for Salmon By ECOCEANOS

The documentary “Greed for Salmon” from the ZDF ARTE program on SPIEGEL TV, which was shown in a first stage in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, denounces the serious and...

Implementing aquaculture technology and innovation platforms in Asia By Simon R.Bush, et al. Aquaculture, 2021

Aquaculture has emerged as one of the fastest growing agri-food systems, playing an increasingly important role in global nutrition security and contributing economic welfare to rural and coastal regions (Beveridge...

A review of major river basins and large lakes relevant to inland fisheries By Rachel Ainsworth and Ian G. Cowx and Simon Funge-Smith, FAO, 2021

This review presents summary information on 45 river and great lake basins of the world, which support inland fisheries. The information presented is drawn from published information in peer-reviewed journals...