A draft of the Guidelines (Draft Guidelines) was presented as an information paper to the 11th Session of the COFI:AQ. The Session recommended their review by Members with a view to their finalization. A virtual meeting of a Members’ Task Force was convened in January 2023. The Task Force reviewed the Draft Guidelines and requested FAO to finalize the draft and submit it to the 12th Session of COFI:AQ for guidance. On [Date], the 12th Session of COFI:AQ adopted the Draft Guidelines, and on [Date], the 36th Session of COFI endorsed the Guidelines for Sustainable Aquaculture and urged FAO and its Members, partners and stakeholders to implement the Guidelines.

The Guidelines recognize that countries have diverse challenges, needs and capacities with respect to aquaculture development, including in relation to aquatic resources, infrastructure, investment, institutions, levels of education and technical capacities. At the same time, there are major common challenges and opportunities at national, regional and global levels.

At the request of FAO Members, the Guidelines aim to provide a clear direction for the development of sustainable aquaculture and identify the concrete actions that need to be implemented for aquaculture to best contribute to food security, poverty alleviation, preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity and the broader goals of the ASD 2030 and its SDGs.