The Eleventh Session of the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the FAO Committee on Fisheries was held virtually in Rome, Italy, from 24 to 27 May 2022. The Sub-Committee commended FAO’s work during the intersessional period including towards the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, highlighted the importance of aquaculture and especially small-scale aquaculture for food security and nutrition, livelihoods, economic development and public health, and encouraged all Members to take action to further engage small-scale farmers.
The Sub-Committee welcomed the adoption of the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and of the FAO Strategic Framework and its “Blue Transformation” Programme Priority Area, noted the need to elaborate a clear strategy for the development of sustainable aquaculture, supported the further development of the draft Guidelines for Sustainable Aquaculture and asked FAO to consider them as a foundation for programmatic work, and emphasized the need for FAO’s Global Integrated Sustainable Aquaculture Programme.
The Sub-Committee continues to recognize the value of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and supports the survey as a useful tool in identifying Members’ needs as well as a broad indicator of progress over time. The Sub-Committee welcomed FAO’s work on trade-related issues, underlined the importance of aquaculture for domestic consumption as well as the increasing importance of international trade for aquaculture products, and emphasized the importance of communication on aquaculture mainly to avoid consumer misconceptions.
The Sub-Committee welcomed the food systems approach to create pathways so that aquaculture adds to the resilience of the global food system, and at the same time highlighted the susceptibility of aquaculture to shocks and emergencies. The Sub-Committee appreciated FAO’s continued work on biosecurity and animal health, and encouraged the continued implementation of the Progressive Management Pathway for Improving Aquaculture Biosecurity. The Sub-Committee emphasized the comparative advantage of most aquaculture to increase animal protein production with lower environmental and climate change impacts, and stressed the importance of cooperation and aquaculture networks for better resilience.
The Sub-Committee congratulated FAO and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific and the host, the People’s Republic of China, on the successful organization of the Global Conference on Aquaculture (GCA) Millennium +20. It noted the importance of the GCA as a regular and significant global platform to engage a broad range of stakeholders in aquaculture, recognized the value of the conference outputs and noted the success of the hybrid format. The Sub-Committee highlighted the important role that the growth of sustainable aquaculture must play in meeting the nutritional needs of a growing population and enhancing the resilience of global food systems.
The Sub-Committee noted with appreciation new examples of international cooperation such as the International Artemia Aquaculture Consortium, the Center for Ecological Aquaculture and the Global Sustainable Aquaculture Advancement Partnership, and encouraged FAO to work in partnership with such initiatives to promote sustainable aquaculture, emphasizing the importance of the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture, and requesting technical assistance for its implementation.
The Sub-Committee welcomed the kind invitation of Mexico to host the Twelfth Session, and of Türkiye and Indonesia to host its Thirteenth and Fourteenth Sessions, respectively.